By Matthew Rohrer
Publication Date: May 1, 2004
ISBN# 9780972348775 (5.5x8.5 96pp)
Matthew Rohrer’s simple, hilarious, generous, and strangely disquieting poems conjure versions of the most familiar aspects of our lives—friendship, marriage, childhood, work—into which intrude incongruous, peculiar, fantastical, yet somehow totally recognizable elements. Over and over these poems leave us convinced that we've learned something very important and mysterious, yet we can’t say exactly what.
Finalist for the 2005 International Griffin Poetry Prize
So, this is a book of mirrors. Some of these mirrors show us dark pools of humility, some make us think we are somewhere else. Some I think are full of lies and some are magic holes.
Zachary Schomburg, Octopus Magazine
Equal parts punk rock and pastoral, (Rohrer has) a voice that seems unearthly in its ability to be detached and simultaneously tender.
In the midst of what could be, in other hands, wreckage or hopelessness, Rohrer’s poems run up the banner of hopefulness, create complete poems out of incomplete thoughts... This is a book with an edge, a book of brash clamour and hard-earned joy.
Judges' Citation, the 2005 International Griffin Poetry Prize
A Green Light is in fact Rohrer’s timeliest book to date, and it reminds us that a measure of irony can keep us from being duped by those in power, from falling prey to rhetoric: “The book that says the President is a friend of trees is a book of lies!... It is a book about how to have a big piece missing from your head and live.”
Craig Morgan Teicher, Boston Review
Matthew Rohrer is the author of Surrounded by Friends (Wave Books, 2015), Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007) and A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Satellite (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Next Big Thing. His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches at NYU.