Poetry. For many years the poets John Matthias and John Peck, friends since their time together at Stanford in the 1960s and often paired by reviewers and critics, have wanted to combine Matthias's long poem about the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and Peck's long meditation on the subject, "Agensay, Agengrownde, Matthias," the first version of which appeared in Robert Archambeau's selection of essays on Matthias's work, Word Play Place. In this special edition, where the two pieces appear in extended dialogue, their long-standing wish has been achieved. Katie Lehman has made this possible by re-editing both texts, and offering Peck the opportunity to extend his meditation in many ways. More than that, she has included Archambeau's essay on Matthias's work, "History, Totality, Silence," as an introduction. Readers will find these texts both challenging and rewarding.
Matthias and Peck have both published many volumes of poetry, including Matthias's three volumes of collected poems and Peck's recent long poem Cantilena (all from Shearsman Books). Dos Madres has published a previous collaborative volume, REVOLUTIONS, involving Matthias, Archambeau, and the printmaker Jean Dibble. Of the Compostela poem itself, Guy Davenport wrote upon first reading it in manuscript: "It is good, beautiful, strong poetry. It is doing something great, and I revel in the privilege of seeing it being made. Shivers of recognition. And all of it so achieved a poem." Of Peck's work, the TLS has said: "Peck has established himself as a major figure, opening up territory no one else has attempted." When Matthias first read Peck's essay, he wrote to Archambeau that he thought that the essay was more interesting than his poem. But this is not a competition, but a fellowship, which includes the editor and the author of the introduction.
John Matthias has published some thirty books of poetry, translation, criticism, and scholarship. For many years he taught at the University of Notre Dame, where he is still Editor at Large of Notre Dame Review. Shearsman Books published his three volumes of collected poems, as well as the uncollected long poem, Trigons, his most recent volume of poetry, Complayntes for Doctor Neuro, two books of memoirs and literary essays, and the novel Different Kinds of Music. Two of his long poems appeared in the last Dos Madres collaborative volume (with Archambeau and printmaker Jean Dibble), REVOLUTIONS.
John Peck has published ten books of poetry, including Contradance (University of Chicago Press, 2011), I Came, I Saw: Eight Poems (Shearsman, 2012), and Cantilena (Shearsman, 2016). He taught English at Princeton, Mount Holyoke, the University of Zurich, and Skidmore, edits and translates for the Philemon Foundation (co-translator of Jung's Red Book and the forthcoming Black Book), and practices Jungian analysis in Maine.
Author City: SOUTH BEND, IN USA