Ode to a Brother

By Matthew Dickman

W. W. Norton & Company 25.95 112 pages

“Your ankles make me want to party.”

Portland Poet, Matthew Dickman is a rock star in the poetry world. He won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize for his debut collection, All-American Poem. He’s been compared to Walt Whitman and Frank O’Hara. His poetry has appeared in the The New YorkerTin House, and The American Poetry Review. In his new book, Mayakovsky’s Revolver, Dickman explores the suicide of his older brother, but it isn’t just an elegy, although parts of it are elegiac. In fact, it is full of joy and a celebration of the living. To read Mayakovsky’s Revolver is to experience life in all its lightness, darkness, and everything in between. His words are booster rockets for the light, and a balm against the dark. His poetry makes the world seem less scary by shining a light on the chasms beneath our feet. We are alone, but somehow we are alone together. Matthew Dickman is a wingman for survival, love, and most of all, poetry.

Reviewed By Diane Prokop

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