by Richard N. Matzen, Jr.
In the mid-1980s, Richard Matzen published poems in magazines and newspapers in the Pacific Northwest. In 1985, he wrote and published The Artist’s Album, an illustrated prose poetry chapbook. His new poetry chapbook, Going, reflects the Los Angeles landscape, listening to jazz, experiencing the death of both parents, commuting on the interstate, and stopping to find insight.
After growing up in Bluffton, Indiana, Richard Matzen—inspired by artists and jazz musicians— published poems, poetry books, and jazz articles in the Pacific Northwest during the 1980s. Then, in order to pay the bills, he earned academic degrees and fostered teaching success. Eventually, his expertise in writing and teaching meant he created a writing center and writing department at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. At the same time, but after 30 years, his desire to write poetry rekindled itself to the point that in 2009, he began writing Going, a chapbook that he completed in 2014. Going’s narrator, though images and commuting, tells a story about Los Angeles and the tensions between the need to stay in one place and never being totally in one place.
Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]