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Book Title

If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?

Poems and Images
Author 1
Matthea Harvey
Poem Excerpt
She didn’t even know she had a name until one day she heard the human explaining to another one, “Oh that’s just the backyard mermaid.” “Backyard Mermaid,” she murmured, as if in prayer. On days when there’s no sprinkler to comb through her curls, no rain pouring in glorious torrents from the gutters, no dew in the grass for her to nuzzle with her nose, not even a mud puddle in the kiddie pool, she wonders how much longer she can bear this life. The front yard thud of the newspaper every morning. Singing songs to the unresponsive push mower in the garage. Wriggling under fence after fence to reach the house four down which has an aquarium in the back window. She wants to get lost in that sad glowing square of blue. Don’t you?
            —from “The Backyard Mermaid”
Prose poems introduce deeply untraditional mermaids alongside mer-tool silhouettes. A text by Ray Bradbury is erased into a melancholy meeting with a Martian. The Michelin Man is possessed by William Shakespeare. Antonio Meucci’s invention of the telephone is chronicled next to embroidered images of his real and imagined patents. If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? combines Matthea Harvey’s award-winning poetry with her fascinating visual artwork into a true hybrid book, an amazing and beautiful work by one of our most ingenious creative artists.

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A brilliant combination of poetry and visual artwork by Matthea Harvey, whose vision is “nothing short of blazingly original” (Time Out New York)

About the Author

Matthea  Harvey
Credit: Rob Casper
Matthea Harvey is the author of five books of poetry, including If the Tabloids Are True, What Are You?, Modern Life, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and a New York Times Notable Book, and Of Lamb, an illustrated erasure. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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  • “A book truly unlike any other. . . . Harvey is a genius of the unusual, and of the dark underbelly of the adorable; she is one of our most important poets, and this book proves it.”—NPR
  • “Matthea Harvey [is] one of America’s most imaginative, playful, and perceptive poets. . . . Harvey is definitively coming into her prime.”Publishers Weekly, “Top 10 Poetry Books of Fall 2014”
  • “In extending her concept of poetic craft into the physical realm, and by refusing to honor its discretion from poetry, Harvey has created a work that is both generous and sui generis.”—Boston Globe
  • "[Harvey is] an artist whose visual work embodies the kind of playful imagining and deep foreboding present in much of her written work."—Poets & Writers
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