Collaborations: Matthew Cooperman and Aby Kaupang Cooperman read at the UCA

By Abby Kerstetter September 18, 2013  |  Alumni, Faculty, Fort Collins, Poetry, Publishing, Readings, Regional Events  |  no responses


“Into this wild Abyss / the womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave.”  Matthew Cooperman prefaces his latest collection, Imago for the Fallen World, with this quote from Milton. As evident in this textual mosaic in collaboration with the artist Marius Lehene, Matthew is socially conscious and exhilarating poet writing with urgency and force. Imago for the Fallen World is in many ways a reflection on and response to Matthew’s 2011 collection, Still: of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move. Again, Matthew endeavors to index and order our chaotic modern world through still shots that encompass and compartmentalize cultural, historical, and individual artifacts from life, news, and the media. The picture in Still: of the Earth is bleak, but Martha Ronk concludes, “The weighty ark may yet go forward.” In Imago we revisit this world of increasing ruin, and find the ark still stuck in the mud. Matthew’s poetry assumes the significance of historical artifact—the last testament of a society on a trajectory of self-destruction. Matthew bears witness with lucid lamentations throughout, but “this is no fantasy, this is a damming list.” Imago is a compendium of all we must remember and confront if we are to catch this falling world. Above all, Imago is not an exercise in despair, but a call to act. Matthew is also the author of, DaZE, A Sacrificial Zinc, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize, and three chapbooks. He is a founding editor of Quarter After Eight and a current poetry editor of Colorado Review.


Aby Kaupang Cooperman’s newest book, Little “g” God Grows Tired of Me—published earlier this year with the Denver-based SpringGun Press—is a return. Quite literally, it returns an earlier work, [Tender], which comprises the majority of her a Master’s thesis she completed in 2007 at Colorado State University. (Aby, by the way, also holds a Master’s in Occupational Therapy which she also obtained at CSU). Little “g” God represents more than just a return to an earlier work, however, it is a return to tenderness. Alongside the original poems, poems that hold themselves in quiet honesty, are new additions. Some of these poems will make you laugh. Poems such as “Strom hopes {he’s a feathery thing}” and “Strom Days are Roses.” You may have guessed, these poems center around Strom Thurmond. Rather than taking pot-shots at the senator infamous for his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the poems want to write the obverse Strom. The Strom that is a lyric song. They bring Strom in and swaddle him in wordplay. The elegance of the gesture is succeeded only by its empathy. Aby Kaupang Cooperman is the author of two other books of poetry, Absence is Such a Transparent House, published in 2011 by Tebot Bach; and Houses Innumerable published in 2008 with Scantily Clad Press. Her work appears in FENCE, Little Red Leaves, Denver Quarterly, La Petite Zine, Verse, Parthenon West, PANK among a great many other places. Come join us to see her read with her husband and CSU MFA Faculty member Matthew Cooperman this Thursday, September 19th at 7:30 PM in the University Center for the Arts.

Abby Kerstetter

Abigail Kerstetter is an MFA candidate in poetry. She views poetry as an exercise in applied anthropology: that we are human is an accident of evolution—our language makes us so.

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