Matthew Zapruder discusses "Why Poetry" (with David Roderick)

Mathew Zapruder discusses "Why Poetry" DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland welcomes Matthew Zapruder to the store to discuss Why Poetry on Tuesday, August 29th at 7:00pm. Joining him in conversation will be fellow poet, David Roderick

In Why Poetry, award-winning poet Matthew Zapruder takes on what it is that poetry -- and poetry alone -- can do. Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. In lively, lilting prose, he shows us how that misunderstanding interferes with our direct experience of poetry and creates the sense of confusion or inadequacy that many of us feel when faced with it.

Zapruder explores what poems are, and how we can read them, so that we can, as Whitman wrote, "possess the origin of all poems," without the aid of any teacher or expert. Most important, he asks how reading poetry can help us to lead our lives with greater meaning and purpose.

Anchored in poetic analysis and steered through Zapruder's personal experience of coming to the form, Why Poetry is engaging and conversational, even as it makes a passionate argument for the necessity of poetry in an age when information is constantly being mistaken for knowledge. While he provides a simple reading method for approaching poems and illuminates concepts like associative movement, metaphor, and negative capability, Zapruder explicitly confronts the obstacles that readers face when they encounter poetry to show us that poetry can be read, and enjoyed, by anyone.


Matthew Zapruder is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sun Bear (2014), Come On All You Ghosts (2010), The Pajamaist (winner of the 2007 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America), and American Linden (2002). He collaborated with painter Chris Uphues on For You in Full Bloom (2009) and cotranslated, with historian Radu Ioanid, Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu’s last collection, Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems (2008).  With Brian Henry, He cofounded Verse Press, which later became Wave Books. 

David Roderick is the author of two poetry collections, Blue Colonial (winner of the the 2006 APR/Honickman Prize) and The Americans (2014). Since completing his M.F.A. in poetry at the University of Massachusetts and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, David has taught creative writing and literature classes at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is currently the Program Director of Left Margin Lit, a literary startup in the Bay Area.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland
5433 Co
Oakland, CA 94618
Why Poetry Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062343079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - click to see which location!
Published: Ecco Press - August 15th, 2017