Book: Search Party

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Book:

Search Party: Collected Poems

Author: William Matthews, Sebastian Matthews, Stanley Plumly
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Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

When William Matthews died of a heart attack in 1997, the day after his fifty-fifth birthday, America lost one of its most important poets, one whose humor and wit were balanced by deep emotion, whose off-the-cuff inventiveness belied the acuity of his verse.

With Search Party, his son Sebastian and his friend and fellow poet Stanley Plumly have brought together a collection drawing from all of Matthews’s previously published work as well as twenty-three never-before-published poems. Here are meditations on relationships, work, family life, and, of course, jazz: “I love the smoky libidinal murmur / of a jazz crowd…/ I like to slouch back / with that I’ll-be-here-awhile tilt.” Pleasure is abundant in these poems: music, wine, love, and language are, for Matthews, the necessary consolations for life’s suffering.

Full of as much wisdom and song as heartbreak and loss, Search Party will bring a wider reading audience to this “poet of experience” and his benedictions of everyday life.

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