Matt Hart

August 28 - September 18, 2020

Starting on January 1, 2017, I decided that I would write/type a poem every day for the entire year on my Remington Noiseless #7 (1947). The poems had to be at least fourteen lines long, and they had to have a beginning middle and end. When I finished each poem, I made a few notes, quick edits, sometimes wild revisions, and then I turned it face down on my desk. My plan was not to work on (or even look at) the poems until 2018. However, when 2018 rolled around I was having so much fun that I decided to keep going for another year. The pile got bigger and bigger. By the end of the second year I had typed well over 750 poems (since some days I typed more than one).

As part of my sabbatical, in the fall of 2019, I went through all of the poems from 2017-18, and started revising the ones that I still liked, or that somehow interested me. Those revisions became two separate manuscripts, one titled IT’S ALL DARK GO and the other WHERE THE DREAD USED TO WENT (both titles were phrases that appeared in the typed poems). As it turned out 2017 and 2018 were two of the most difficult years of my life, full of both darkness and dread. America fell apart (even more than it already had) politically. I lost several good friends to madness/addiction. And I hurt my hip and had to stop running, an activity that's been important to me both mentally and physically for almost two decades. For all that, typing the poems each day allowed me to focus on the NOW, and the things on my mind that I didn’t know were on my mind (which, as I see it, are the most important things). They also gave me something to look forward to, a purpose, a way to blast off.

The work I’m presenting for this sabbatical exhibition is not the finished (revised) poems that are in the manuscripts. In fact, many of these pieces are not ones I wound up revising for the manuscripts. These pieces were selected more for how they look than what they say. Taken together, I hope these pages demonstrate a process. They may or may not be worth reading. Nevertheless, I hope someone (YOU?) will read them—the words, the white space, the music and the noise.”

More about Matt:
Matt Hart is the author of nine books of poems, including most recently Everything Breaking/for Good and The Obliterations. Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including Big Bell, Columbia Poetry Review, Harvard Review, jubilat, Lungfull!, Mississippi Review, POETRY, and Waxwing, among others. A 2020 Hermitage Artist Retreat Fellow, his other awards include a Pushcart Prize, a grant from The Shifting Foundation, and a fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. A co-founder and editor of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band NEVERNEW.

WHEN: August 28 — September 18, 2020
Gallery Hours:
Monday—Friday: 9:00 am—9:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 am—5:00 pm
WHERE: Convergys Gallery, 1212 Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine
COST: Gallery admission and reception are free and open to the public.

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm