Matthew Dickman

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Matthew Dickman (born August 20, 1975, Portland, Oregon) is an American poet. He received a B.A. from the University of Oregon in 2001 and has been the recipient of fellowships from The Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, The Vermont Studio Center, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.[1] He is the author of three chapbooks, Amigos , Something about a Black Scarf and Wish You Were Here, and three full-length poetry collections. His first book, All-American Poem,[2] was winner of the 2008 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize in Poetry, published by American Poetry Review and distributed by Copper Canyon Press. He was also the winner of the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for that book, and the inaugural May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. His second full collection of poetry, Mayakovsky's Revolver, was published by Norton in 2012.[3] He is also the coauthor, with his twin brother Michael Dickman, of the 2012 poetry collection 50 American Plays,[4] published by Copper Canyon Press. His third collection "Wonderland" was published in 2018 by W. W. Norton and Company.[5]

Matthew Dickman is also a freelance Copywriter. His most recent work has been for Chrysler and Maserati

Matthew along with his brother Michael starred as the pre-cog twins, Dashiell and Arthur respectively, in the 2002 Steven Spielberg film Minority Report.


Dickman is the poetry editor of Tin House magazine and a creative writing faculty member at the Vermont College of the Arts.[6][7] He was a Visiting Writer at Reed College,[8] and is an adjunct fellow at The Attic institute in Portland.[9]

His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Clackamas Literary Review, AGNI Online,[10] The Missouri Review,[11] and The New Yorker.[12]

Matthew and Michael Dickman were the subject of an April 6, 2009, New Yorker profile.[13]

The Cardinal Club in Portland Oregon has a cocktail named in his honor,"The Complete Dickman". It consists of a club soda with bitters and a Fernet Branca on the rocks.



Matthew Dickman’s melancholic portraits of impoverished white teenagers dazzle me into the always painful, yet easily forgettable, awareness that many people suffer psychically under the knife of American prosperity. Outside the frame of these poems lurk the children of female-headed homes; parents who work two or more jobs; teenage moms who live in “Drug-Free Zones” and “Urban Renewal Zones,” unkempt neighborhoods whose parks are normally full of drugs; teen addicts slumping toward oblivion; and fathers for whom the closest thing to therapy is domestic abuse.[17]

This isn’t really a straight narrative—it’s a confession of feeling absolute and utter resourcelessness in the face of reality and its possibilities and impossibilities. It shares a present that has the past as its kind of palimpsest—present happenings are written over a history that has been erased, but remembered by the impressions in the medium, and the new result is a document layered with meanings. While all this is happening, the poem is rendered with both conversational fluidity and keen, instinctive poetic intellect. We barely feel it happening, yet we know that whatever is happening is in some sense a big deal...The voice in Mayakovsky’s Revolver is that of a nostalgic presence—a voice fixed on a past that is no longer accessible. Dickman’s is a particularly painful nostalgia, because some of the characters and places that made up his past are irrevocably changed or lost (and this is ultimately true for us all, which lends universality to his work). This can be sweet and charming; at the same time, of course, it’s also a little painful.[18]



  • Dickman, Matthew (2007). Amigos. Q Ave Press. 
  • — (2008). Something about a black scarf. Azul Press. 
  • — (2013). Wish you were here. Spork Press. 
  • — (2014). 24 Hours. Onestar Press/Poor Claudia. 


  • Dickman, Matthew (2008). All-American poem. American Poetry Review. 
  • — (2012). Mayakovsky's revolver. W. W. Norton. 
  • Dickman, Matthew; Dickman, Michael (2012). 50 American plays : poems. Copper Canyon Press. 
  • Dickman, Matthew (2018). Wonderland: Poems. W.W. Norton. 

List of poems[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
Bougainvillea 2012 Dickman, Matthew (July–August 2012). "Bougainvillea". The American Poetry Review. 41 (4). Retrieved 2015-03-30. 
Walking the dogs 2014 Dickman, Matthew (December 22–29, 2014). "Walking the dogs". The New Yorker. 90 (41): 80. Retrieved 2015-03-30. 
Montpelier 2013 Dickman, Matthew (March 11, 2013). "Montpelier". The New Yorker. 89 (4): 44–45. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
Black ice 2012 Dickman, Matthew (June 2012). "Black ice". The Paris-American. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^{B266F2C1-AC6D-4D25-8D0D-900DB3305777}
  3. ^ "Fiction Review: Mayakovsky's Revolver by Matthew Dickman". 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  4. ^{C4800445-46E3-46AF-AE21-41C4B7025174}
  5. ^ "Wonderland Book Page". Retrieved 2018-05-07. 
  6. ^ "Staff - About Us". Tin House. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  7. ^ "Matthew Dickman | Vermont College of Fine Arts". Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  8. ^ "Reed College | News Center | Matthew Dickman". 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Teachers & Staff". Attic Institute. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  10. ^ "AGNI Online: Author Matthew Dickman". Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  11. ^ "The Missouri Review". The Missouri Review. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Arts: Feb 9th, 2006". Provincetown Banner. 2006-02-09. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  15. ^ Denning, Susan (2009-02-03). "Paper Fort: Fellowship Recipient Matthew Dickman". Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  16. ^ "Literary Arts". Literary Arts. 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  17. ^ Major Jackson (2007). "Poet's Sampler". (Book Review). Nov-Dec. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  18. ^ Evan Hansen (August 23, 2012). "A New Twist on Confessional Poetics? Mayakovsky's Revolver, by Matthew Dickman". (Book Review). Retrieved March 26, 2018. 

External links[edit]