A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno
Written by Matt Rader
Publication Date April 30, 2011
A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno carries within it all the technique, vision, imaginative labour, and razor-sharp precision of Matt Rader’s first two collections, Living Things and Miraculous Hours. But it also ascends to a new and luminous, demanding, particularized realm of the human.
Wildflowers and weeds, newspaper archives and illness, hostels and hostiles, parenting and the shadowy history of grandparents, war and Renaissance paintings: Matt Rader’s unassuming, deeply spirited, and expansive poems show us again how contemporary lyric can go such a long way toward revealing our true homes to us at the moment we find ourselves most nakedly un-housed. Rader seeks out limits, borders, and frontiers -- those mapped for us by authority, and the concomitant, interior shadowlines we ourselves draw -- in order to test their validity.
If Borges had imagined an atlas of our layered identities, it might look like these poems. This is an astounding collection from a thrilling voice in poetry.
Matt Rader is the critically acclaimed author of the poetry collections Living Things and Miraculous Hours, which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and longlisted for the ReLit Award. His poems, stories, and nonfiction have appeared in journals and anthologies across North America, Australia, and Europe and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
"There is an ease and immediacy to Rader's writing that feels as intellectually discerning as it is strangely serendipitous . . . Rader never holds back in substance and is most admirable for bravely risking moments of personal terrain, which are many in this collection." Winnipeg Free Press