Welcoming Matthew Burns


This week we welcome our second new editor for the upcoming year: Matthew Burns. His poem “A Burning” was published in Heron Tree Four earlier this year (read it here!), and we are so happy that he said “yes” to our invitation to join us.

Matthew teaches writing and literature in upstate New York. His poem “Rhubarb” won a James Hearst Prize from North American Review while others have received Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations and have appeared in or are forthcoming from Posit, Stoneboat, Graze, Quiddity, Memoir (and), Upstreet, Spoon River Poetry Review, Paterson Literary Review, Lime Hawk, The Lake, Raleigh Review, ellipsis…, Cleaver Magazine, and others.

As a way of illustrating what Matthew is drawn to in a poem, we asked him to choose a handful of poems from the Heron Tree archives that caught his eye. Here’s what he selected and a few of his words about each:

Undergrowth Near Hessler” by Susan Grimm: “I love the way she captures the bleakness (in the best way, of course) of those familiar days. The sounds in the poem carry me through and keep me warm: Switch me // my switch to the mud and ruckus of tracks…

Walking Half Moon Canyon” by Michael Dwayne Smith: “She says the wind exhales its dreams into their leaves, / which I almost believe… and so do I.”

Aubade with Transverse Orientation” by Molly Spencer: “The pale tone is everything.  The exploration of a simple fact and its factual measure in that they’ll go once we crowd this house // with all our books and pans and breath and the general hum / of living is too real.”

The Cardinal” by Heather Cousins: “Say no more than need be. The heart knows this; the head does, too.”

The Siren Wants To Be A Girl” by Sally Rosen Kindred “makes me want to act.  The energy here is powerful and heartgripping: I could use // a hot bath, a good book, a body / to lean on—old as womanhood /  and dry as chalk— / whose whisper is a wasp’s nest / crackling into my flesh. And The wind, for once, / just tender, without claws and without salt.

Glove Hollow, New Snow” by Jennifer Highland. “There are too many good lines to quote.  I want to live this again and again.”

We hope you’ll take this as an invitation to explore these and other poems in the archives. We also hope you’ll check out Matthew’s work in these other venues:

The the Groundhog My Father Wants to Drown” at decomP
“Calving” and “When It is Cold and I Smell Roses” at anderbo.com
Shovel and Rasp” (audiofile) at Quiddity
The Coal Spur Kid” at Ragazine
Heroin Sonnet” at Sediments Literary-Arts Journal