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Beautiful Problems, Poems by Anthony DiMatteo
How to account for beauty in these our difficult, cynical times, be it seductive, elevating, humbling, dangerous, or, too often nowadays, besmirched and downtrodden? The lyrical stories and speculations of Anthony DiMatteo's Beautiful Problems - and who doesn't have these? - offer insights into experiences of beauty that we share with animals and in common. They move us now to stand up or sit down, shut up or shout out in a hunt and haunt of it.
"Beautiful Problems include those of suffering, death, bittersweet memory, surviving divorce, physical danger, and many others that entice and disturb equally. Reading, we find ourselves in various settings: classroom, county fair, hospital, prison, national parks. Into DiMatteo's narratives come a horse, a heron, a coyote, dogs, a fox, and a mountain lion he sees while hiking: 'a gift as vision given, pure fear, pure joy.' From page to page, we experience the writer's gift for aphorism ('Recall can taste sweeter than the thing itself') and physical description ('a night's clouds like curtains lift,/setting stars free'). Scrutinizing the inner mysteries of the world and self, Anthony DiMatteo writes energetic and original poems with places and problematic situations that compel attention and provide reader identification. Reflective and vividly detailed, this is a penetrating, artful, and re-readable book." - Peter Makuck
"Clarity, compassion, and wry humor are among the assets Anthony DiMatteo brings to the Beautiful Problems he encounters, whether in the company of his wife and son, alone on the hiking trail, or in memory of times long past. 'The braiding of things exceeds our reason,' DiMatteo knows and writes, like the 'bomb-melted glass' his father brought from Nagasaki that 'for many years still held/the heat...as I'd cradle it in my hand.' These poems are like that glass: cool or searing, shaped by history, unsettling at times but also beautiful. A poet of both elegy and praise, DiMatteo wisely shows that it is 'lovely and dangerous/to linger there, at the edge of what is not,/when so much is yet to be done.' " - Ned Balbo
Anthony DiMatteo is a poet, translator, critic and former group home supervisor. His poems, essays and reviews regularly appear in scholarly and literary journals. Nominated for a Pushcart award, recent poems have been featured in Avatar Poetry Review, Front Porch, Smartish Pace, Tar River Poetry and Waccamaw. Essays and reviews have appeared in College Literature, Early Modern Literary Studies, and Renaissance Quarterly. Awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he defends the mysteries of art, literature and writing at the New York Institute of Technology where he is a professor and former chair of English. He lives with his wife Kathleen O’Sullivan, an interior designer and concert pianist, and their son Michael on the Great South Bay, Long Island, New York. Visit his e-tent: anthonydimatteo.wordpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1625490711, 110 pages, $19.00