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Matthew Lippman is my favorite radio in America. Why radio? Maybe I'm a little nostalgic and romantic. Maybe I like how his poems feel like an intimate and lively outsider who somehow finds his way into the house of my head and shakes me awake. Maybe because his gifts of music and humor feel bodily yet elevate me into a space that feels secularly divine. Because the data and soul in his work isn't merely language on a page or items screened from a search engine. His language is all about wavelengths out there in the ether: it's talk, it's music, it's spirit, and most of all it's embraceable voice, by turns ebullient and outraged, at once in-your-face and then meditative. His is a voice hungry to take in the world with all five senses and present what the best lyric poetry does: a map of consciousness in song.

I love his playfulness—a whirling jaunt of Hieronymus Bosch proportions in which the animate are peeing or screaming or laughing or burning things or eating pastrami—a hybrid of boy and man borne out of humor and ache. In his lyrics of ammonia and lipstick, of borscht and oleander, of werewolves and Buddhists, you'll find tinges of Baudelaire, Neruda, Pessoa's Àlvaro de Campos, Ginsberg, O'Hara and Stern, an active heart and spirit marvelously wed to an acuity of vision—of worldly things and conditions and the ways in which we behave with and towards them. In his music you might hear the volume of Paul Gonsalves at Newport, or Art Blakey, and then find Dylan or Christine Lavin or Greg Brown whispering in your ear.

What I also love about Matthew's work is that despite the playful machinations of case, of first-person speech, the personalities that speak these poems privilege the world and not merely the self. His work is steeped in a culture both glorious and foolhardy, and the lyrics are smart enough to let those realms mingle and run and pant. He's a man still trying to find his way through the world with his spirit intact and his wife and daughter safe. I revere how I feel when I encounter his poems: simultaneously more melancholy and more jazzed, angrier at misfortune and more humored by blessings, a lot more grounded on the planet and headier up among the stars. His work makes me feel more alive than I can feel on my own.

— Michael Morse