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About Matthew Thorburn
He's also the author of six previous collections of poetry, including the book-length poem Dear Almost (LSU Press, 2016), honored with the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry; A Green River in Spring (Autumn House Press, 2015), winner of the Coal Hill Review chapbook competition; This Time Tomorrow (Waywiser Press, 2013), a finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize; Every Possible Blue (CW Books, 2012); Subject to Change (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2004), winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize; and an earlier chapbook, the long poem Disappears in the Rain (Parlor City Press, 2009).
His work has been recognized with a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the Mississippi Review Prize, and fellowships from the Bronx and New Jersey arts councils and the Sewanee Writers' Conference.
Visit www.matthewthorburn.net to learn more.
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Dear Almost is a book-length poem addressed to an unborn child lost in miscarriage. Beginning with the hope and promise of springtime, poet Matthew Thorburn traces the course of a year with sections set in each of the four seasons. Part book of days, part meditative prayer, part travelogue, the poem details a would-be father’s wanderings through the figurative landscapes of memory and imagination as well as the literal landscapes of the Bronx, Shanghai, suburban New Jersey, and the Japanese island of Miyajima.
As the speaker navigates his days, he attempts to show his unborn daughter “what life is like / here where you ought to be / with us, but aren’t.” His experiences recall other deaths and uncover the different ways we remember and forget. Grief forces him to consider a question he never imagined asking: how do you mourn for someone you loved but never truly knew, never met or saw? In candid, meditative verse Dear Almost seeks to resolve this painful question, honoring the memory of a child who both was and wasn’t there.