Kentucky Lullaby by Matthew Vetter
“Use the commonplace to escape the commonplace,” Buson wrote, and that is precisely what Matthew Vetter does in Kentucky Lullaby, a carefully arranged collection of poems that opens with a child’s careless act, a kind of original sin, that reverberates through time. This is a book of self-reckoning; it is a record of a father, who, keenly aware of the hurt a father unwittingly inflicts on his sons in pursuit of freedom, must find his own way of being a husband and father. With an unswerving commitment to the truth of feeling, Matthew Vetter takes on the vexing question of free will—the kind of idea one of my teachers used to call “big medicine.” Traveling wide and deep while staying close to home, Kentucky Lullaby is a book to live with, to read and to read again.
–Debra Kang Dean, author of Fugitive Blues
Matthew Vetter’s Kentucky Lullaby is a deep and beautiful celebration of the lyric tradition. These poems are offered in a striking, mature voice formed out of Vetter’s exquisite relationship with language, the self, and the world. While the images, settings, and actions are tinged richly with tonalities of the southern highlands, the poems bring us to the core of the universal experiences found in family life touched by the paradoxes and ontological mysteries. I admire the deep-hearted intelligence of these poems, their sweet ferocities and tender courage. Kentucky Lullaby is a stunning debut that keeps blossoming with each reading.
–George Eklund, author of Wanting to Be an Element
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by Matthew Vetter
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Matthew Vetter is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His poems have appeared in numerous national and regional literary journals including Midwest Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, The Louisville Review, and The Journal of Kentucky Studies. He lives in Indiana, Pennsylvania with his wife Stacy and three children.