SMC English Professor Matthew Zapruder Named Poetry Column Editor for New York Times Magazine
Saint Mary's English professor and critically acclaimed poet Matthew Zapruder has been named the new poetry column editor for The New York Times Magazine. As the column editor, Zapruder will select and introduce poems each week for the prestigious 120-year-old national Sunday magazine. Zapruder succeeds former U.S. Poet Laureate and Emory University Professor Natasha Trethewey. His appointment begins March 6, 2016 and runs until the spring of 2017.
School of Liberal Arts Dean Sheila Hassell Hughes said Zapruder's latest honor is an inspiration to his students and to all in the Saint Mary's community. “Matthew is a rising poetry rock star. His work is terrific and is garnering all kinds of recognition. What's especially wonderful for us is that his first thought is always, ‘How can I use this experience to benefit Saint Mary’s students?'”
An associate professor in Saint Mary's English Department, Zapruder teaches in and directs the College's MFA in Creative Writing Program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. He said he is thrilled to have the opportunity to share poetry with the magazine’s large online audience and nearly 4 million print readers, who come to the newspaper for the news of the world.
“I like the idea that someone would turn the page of The New York Times Magazine and see a poem, and that those words in the poem would have a chance to follow up on, refract, amplify, reconfigure, the language of culture and news,” said Zapruder. “The poem gets a chance to exist in a place that is not isolated or rarified. It gets to be a part of life, and we get to read it that way, too.”
Zapruder is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sun Bear (2014), Come on All You Ghosts (2010), The Pajamaist (2006), and American Linden (2002), For You in Full Bloom (2009), a collaboration with painter Chris Uphues, and Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems (2008), Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu’s last collection, which he co-translated with historian Radu Ioanid.
His poems have been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry (2013, 2009), Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll(2007), and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (2006), as well as Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook (2010).Why Poetry, a book of prose about reading poetry for a general audience, is forthcoming in early 2017.
Zapruder’s poetry has also been adapted by some of America’s most exciting young composers. In fall 2012, his poetry was adapted and performed at Carnegie Hall by composer Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider, with a recording of those works forthcoming in 2016. Composer Missy Mazzoli, along with Victoire and Glenn Kotche, performed “Vespers for a New Dark Age,” a piece commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival, and was released as a recording on New Amsterdam records in spring 2015.
He is also the recipient of many honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the May Sarton Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Zapruder lives with his family in Oakland and is also editor at large for Wave Books, one of America’s premier independent poetry presses.
About Saint Mary's MFA Program in Creative Writing
Founded in 1995, the MFA Program in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study leading to a graduate degree in creative fiction, nonfiction or poetry. MFA program alumni have published over 60 books, published in numerous journals and periodicals and won many distinguished literary prizes. After 20 years, the program continues to thrive, distinguishing itself with its award-winning faculty and opportunities for students in the areas of teaching, publishing, and community engagement. Noted poet and Saint Mary’s English Professor Matthew Zapruder directs the program. For more information visit stmarys-ca.edu/mfa-in-creative-writing.