Selected by Patricia Smith as winner of the 2018 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Matt Morton’s debut poetry collection Improvisation Without Accompaniment embraces uncertainty with a spirit of joyous playfulness.
These lyric poems follow the rhythms of life for a young man growing up in a small Texas town. As the speaker wrestles with ruptures within the nuclear family and the loss of his religious beliefs, he journeys toward a deeper self-awareness and discovers a fuller palette of experiences. Over the course of this collection, the changing seasons of small-town Texas life give way to surprise encounters in distant cities. The speaker’s awareness of mortality grows even as he improvises an affirming response to life’s toughest questions.
Poignant, searching, and earnestly philosophical, Improvisation Without Accompaniment reaches for meaning within life’s joys and griefs.