Matt Mitchell is a Northern Appalachian poet, essayist, and music writer living in Columbus, Ohio.
The Neon Hollywood Cowboy
Matt Mitchell’s full-length debut, The Neon Hollywood Cowboy, is this young poet’s everything, in all its stickiness, in a darkened theater, with the hype of a summer blockbuster, and you’re in the front row with your first love. It is the birth of whatever gods we praise, the attempt of a father preventing a son from losing his manhood only to watch that boy grow purple wings. It’s Adam reaching for a gun, Eve placing it back into the soft of a holster, and the silence we sink into afterwards. Reader, this is a book you should hold until you turn off the lights, then sit with its neon glow in your palms.
—Alan Chazaro, author of Piñata Theory & This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album
“The Neon Hollywood Cowboy breezes into town like a mysterious stranger on horseback, fearsome and insouciant. Once it's got you by the throat, it never does let go. Mitchell is a true poetic sharpshooter with sniper's instincts and the panache of Billy the Kid. Let him tell you about gender, basketball, and Tyler, the Creator — you'll be glad you did."
—Rax King, author of TACKY
“‘I have abandoned myself // all over the world,’ asserts the speaker in Matt Mitchell’s The Neon Hollywood Cowboy. And thus begins an extraordinary collection of poems that take your breath away with each sharp vulnerability it reveals, all while dazzling you with its humor, tenderness, and surprise. These poems are searing reminders of what it means to reclaim a body. Through odes to boys ‘the color of August,’ Harry Styles’ ‘schoolboy shorts barely covering [his] thigh tattoos,’ and Michael Jordan, leaping from a free throw line, his body ‘contorted . . . into a space shuttle,’ the world of these poems is vast and full of brilliance. Read this book now.”
—Noor Hindi, author of Diary of a Filthy Woman
Grown Ocean is forthcoming from Word West in Fall 2021.