Matthew Thorburn

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Matthew Thorburn, 2008

Matthew Thorburn is an American poet. He is the author of three books of poems, Subject to Change (New Issues, 2004), Every Possible Blue (CW Books, 2012) and This Time Tomorrow (Waywiser Press, forthcoming 2013), and a chapbook, Disappears in the Rain (Parlor City, 2009).


Thorburn is a native of Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan,[1] and The New School with an MFA.[2] He lives in New York City.[3][4]

He works on the business staff of an international law firm. He was one of the founders of Good Foot magazine, co-editing the journal from 2000 to 2004.[5][6]

His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review,[7] Prairie Schooner,[8] Poetry Northwest,[9] and The American Poetry Review, among other journals. He also regularly contributes book reviews to Pleiades.


  • Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize
  • Belfast Poetry Festival’s Festivo Prize
  • 2008 Walter E. Dakin Fellowship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference
  • Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  • 2008 Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress
  • 2009 BRIO Fellowship from the Bronx Council on the Arts



In his high-spirited debut, Matthew Thorburn includes a poem, “Variations,” which is divided into three sections, each containing three stanzas separated by the conjunction ‘or,’ as if to offer the reader a range of choices for which poem they’d like to consume. The result is not unlike a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, or a menu at a restaurant which lets you construct your own meal. This playful interactivity is representative of the enchanting, inventive spirit of the collection as a whole.[10]


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