Black Lawrence Press

I Can Only Go as Fast as the Guy in Front of Me



  • “Frank Matagrano has more than a gift for telling a good story, for getting the details just right—he is a poet of compassion, wit, and wisdom."
    —Denise Duhamel

    "Frank Matagrano has invented his own version of the American lyric—these poems are always alive, their tone playful, yes, but also sincere and wise on a deeper level."
    —Ilya Kaminsky

Frank Matagrano

The author of Moving Platform and How to Breathe in Case the Plane Goes Down, Frank Matagrano writes poems that, as he puts it, are "rather distracted by themselves." That's not to say the poems don't do something or get somewhere, just that they take an unhurried route. A native New Yorker who now spends equal time in Chicago, Matagrano's work demonstrates a kind of languid intensity that often takes a mundane or quirky moment and worries it into something surprising. His titles alone -- "Throwing a Shoe at a Branch," "Driving down Route 80 without a Radio," "Borrowing Kylie Minogue" -- indicate how nothing is safe from his attentions.

Matagrano Author page