Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1882295920

Selected Poem

January, We Had No Hot Water

Blade-scraped bud
falling disrupted.

Loneliness is rest, nothing
to buckle across,

like the walk back over the parquet
when the prom queen declines.

I stepped into you, and nothing changed,
no eruption of brass,
no unseasonable birds taking flight.

Beneath the scaffolding
almost a four-year kiss,

but the long division unwraps
like tired gauze, one
suture, one split end.

Sudden Dog

“[Pennock’s] images are fierce, exact, and unsentimental, unburdened by ornament or exaggeration and often fashioned with dark humor. . . [His] poetry demonstrates that the pursuit of meaning in a cruel, absurd world is a powerful act of faith.”
Library Journal

“Pennock’s poems exemplify Hugh Kenner’s dictum that ‘idiosyncrasy of language derives from attention.’ Here, Pennock proves that language can bridge the gap between cerebration and sensation. The focus of his lens shifts effortlessly from extreme close-up (‘the fractal / geometry of a seahorse tail’) to macrocosm (‘a numinous sphere / of concentric circles,’) and revels in the temptations of each perspective. ‘[L]ike a fishbowl / on a rocking chair,’ this marvelous debut collection overflows with vertigo, brinksmanship, gravity, and pure pleasure.”
—Monica Youn

“An array of marginalized, criminal, ashamed, hurt, and unwashed figures—dogs, hyenas, coyotes, Hephaestus, insomniacs, alcoholics, spurned lovers—stalk Pennock’s book, hell-bent on their anti-heroic journey. Part ghost-town carnival mid-way, replete with jokes and rope tricks, part Greek tragedy, part quotidian plumbing and domestic mire, part ardent lyricism and hope, Sudden Dog balances its cynicism with authentic, fully human dignity.”
—Lisa Russ Spaar

“‘It’s only America,’ writes Matthew Pennock. ‘We watch it unravel like a fourth act without direction.’ And so in Pennock’s fine first collection, we find a country of war and surveillance, an economy of boom and collapse and a consciousness built of fragments assembled, admired, broken again. Sudden Dog is a troubling, moving and memorable book, that returns—strangely and via estrangement—to love.”
—Mark Wunderlich

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