Adrian Matejka

Cindy Seip

Adrian Matejka, poet laureate of the state of Indiana (2018-19), is the author of five poetry collections, including Map to the Stars; The Big Smoke, a finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; Mixology, a selection of the National Poetry Series; and The Devil’s Garden. His latest collection, Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin Books), is a meditation on the ways we exist in an uncontrollable world: in love and its aftermath, in families that divide themselves, in protest-filled streets, and in isolation as routines become obsolete because of lockdowns and curfews. Somebody Else uses past and future touchstones like pop songs, love notes, and imaginary gossip to illuminate those moments of splendor that persist even in exhaustion. The New York Times said that “Matejka’s up-to-the-minute collection, his fifth, turns to poetry as a way to process the sometimes surreal disruptions of the pandemic when people wore “Different / kinds of masks for being & breathing.”