Radiant Companion / Matt Hart

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Radiant Companion / Matt Hart


Radiant Companion is the one in the many, the spirit right beside you, the roar you can count on to lead you out of darkness. And as the companion volume to Matt Hart’s book-length serial poem, Radiant Action, it’s also an address book (the ones who matter most)—a constellation of singers, of hands to hold, the community of collaboration(s) that makes the action—any action—possible. These poems flash and bang with human defiance against death in all its disguises. Togetherness changes everything, impossibly so.

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Published 15 September 2016

Poetry • MHP-021

Perfect bound • Paperback
140 pp • 5.5 x 7.5 • ♾♽

ISBN-10 • 0-9860461-6-7
ISBN-13 • 978-0-9860461-6-2

Distribution • SPD

Simultaneously playful and poignant with tons of linguistic precision, the emotional urgency that informs Matt Hart’s writing in Radiant Companion raises the stakes for the reader—he is just that good. Hart, like his predecessors James Tate and Dean Young (to name two), is poised to take his place as one of America’s boldest, most major poets.

Noelle Kocot

In Matt Hart’s Radiant Companion, echoes of poetry past merge with a present that transcends its misfortunes, leaving readers with a newfound love of the blessed ordinary: blue winter sky, raw cotton, a billion starry skulls. “The word is pain, / and the world is pain, / but the sun on our skin / is enormous and light,” proclaims Hart’s “Poem with a Chorus by Jawbreaker,” one of many moments where this collection provides vital insight into contemporary life. Radiant Companion rewrites the parameters of the pastoral and shows us where the ghost of John Keats lingers, as a punk rock heart hammers away in our chests.

Mary Biddinger

The poems in Matt Hart’s Radiant Companion, crack open language and spill light on the page. They radiate a galactic sense of warmth and well-being in response to the ever-fucked-up-ness of the world. And aren’t we hungry for art that reacts to hate and violence with love and light?

Lynn Houston


The Brooklyn Rail
San Francisco Chronicle

Publisher's Weekly
The Live Oak Review
Words on a Wire


Lullaby of Ending Things, The Panther, & Between Scylla And Charybdis
(Monster House)

Breaking Spring
(Academy of American Poets)

The Friend
(Poetry Foundation)

The Call Up & On Beauty, Etc.
(The Great American Lit Mag)

Ode to a Nightingale, Supermassive Black Squirrel, & This Manic New Trippery
(A Dozen Nothing)

Catching Light
(Kenyon Review)

Poem with Some Answers to the Questions
(NOÖ Journal)

Go-Go of Sky
(NOÖ Journal)

Unsettling the Dust

American Chorus
(The Shallow Ends)

Poem with a Chorus by Jawbreaker
(Monster House)

Matt Hart is the author of seven books of poems. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he is Associate Professor in Creative Writing and the Chair of Liberal Arts at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He plays guitar and shouts in the bands TRAVEL and THE LOUDEST SOUNDER.