If you’ve only read Matthew Dickman's poems, then you might not understand how engaging Matthew is in person. He had a crowd of mostly high school students laughing. LAUGHING! It’s not easy getting a bunch of 15-year olds in a church at 9:30 in the morning to laugh, but he did it with his down-to-earth, authentic style.
- Matthew talked about elegies, and how more people experience grief than deep love. He said, "Poetry is the magic art of language." When your life falls apart, "Poetic language picks up the rubble of life's experiences to make something beautiful."
- Poetry can actually extend your life, he goes on to say. “When someone says art can’t extend your life, don’t believe them. It can.”
- He spoke a lot about being free, how people in the middle of their lives are weighed down by choices, but the very young and the very old can experience absolute freedom. Artists experience true freedom in the moment of creation. "When we make art, we are totally free."
- "Art and poetry are a fight against weakness … against jealousy.”
- And last but not least, my favorite quote of the day: “I’m married to poetry.”(Me, too!)
I think Matthew is a poet for the next generation of writers. I can see why his work is so appealing with its pop culture references and, dare I say it again, authentic style of putting his whole self into his poetry.