Paperback Price: $13.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1882295418

Selected Poem

The Official Story

I stopped claiming Indian Blood
when the government told me:
no proof. Grandma,full-blooded
Delaware orphan adopted
by Black farmers trying to save
her. New daughter in tow,
the family headed straight for
the tribal headquarters to make
her Black: crossing out names,
birth certificate burned.Shredding
any and all pictures of her
as an Indian, a screwdriver scratching
her from the tribal monument,
because disproof isn't proof,
and erasure means forgetting.
Genetics are all they left-
half-breed son of a different half
dusted with disco, Afro-Sheen
instead of war paint. A half-half
breed grandson, still not
finding his name on the ledger.

The Devil’s Garden

“Matejka challenges notions of propriety, as if breaking silence on long-held family secrets. . . . A smart and engaging debut.”
Black Issues Book Review

“Adrian Matejka’s garden breeds a formidable range of voices and explorations, all in one groove, both sensual and evocative of the borders of identity where hoodoo turns to music.”
Crab Orchard Review

“Using jazz and blues rhythms with telling allusions to Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Billie Holiday, Matejka fashions a powerful autobiography in verse….Highly recommended for all larger collections.”
Library Journal

“Matejka’s first book attempts to contain not only the multitudes, but what his culture wants to convince him are the contradictions he embodies. Freewheeling lyric improvisations and straight-ahead narratives forge a space in language where opposites co-exist.”
Black Issues Book Review

The Devil’s Garden meets at the crossroads of risky possibility—real and magical. With jazz burning in the engine, each curve in Adrian Matejka’s stunning imagination is taken with hard-earned, skillful grace. Get ready to travel in the mind and the body.”
—Yusef Komunyakaa

“Reading Adrian Matejka’s amazing debut, I was left with the feeling that American Poetry was at last beginning to catch up with early 21st century American life. He has written the first serious songs from a world that’s about to make itself felt and known.”
—Cornelius Eady

“Adrian Matejka plays the language like a horn, with a cool inventiveness and bravura phrasing, yet his poems are as notable for their humanity as their flourishes and riffs at the borders of expression. His singular gift is to write outside the usual habits of communication and yet to deliver again and again the inside story, the testament of a life.”
—Rodney Jones


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