Matt Schumacher


Matt Schumacher – Version 2Matt Schumacher is poetry editor of the journal Phantom Drift and lives in Portland, Oregon.  A poetry chapbook, favorite maritime drinking songs of the miraculous alcoholics, just went to print. His third book of poetry, Ghost Town Odes, will be published in 2016.

On your nightstand:  

Lots of Oregon history and the West–right now, Robert Utley’s The Lance and the Shield, after screening Ken Burns’ The West. But I dip into poetry. I was reading James Weldon Johnson yesterday. I recently read a parasurrealist author, Rene Daumal, and his best book, Mt. Analogue, and loved it. I’m also reading submissions for Phantom Drift.

Do you prefer reading print or ebooks? 

Print books, for the tangible pages and 3-d experience.

If you could spend a day with an author, who would it be?

Richard Hugo at a movie or a baseball game. Maupassant during his dark period. Pessoa showing me his manuscripts and delineating his many heteronyms. Borges showing me his favorite library. Christian Bok showing me his work on the Xenotext. Dostoevsky sharing the secrets of his narrative tensions. Duchamp in the art museum.  Rene Char telling me stories of the French Resistance. Helping Tristan Tzara play tricks on unsuspecting people. Muir and Thoreau on a hike.

What book made the biggest impression on you as a kid?

There were many. Really early on, fairy tales and Greek myths. Poe’s short stories. Scott Corbett, Susan Cooper, and Lloyd Alexander, Dorp Dead and Blackbriar. Stephen King. Camus’ The Stranger.

What’s your writing routine? Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

I like quiet, so late at night and any other time I can steal some silence is good. I tend to write after I have an idea, but I’ve been revising poems a lot lately, getting a book ready, so this is different than the first draft.

Who or what inspires your writing?

Lately, missing papayas, tortoises, abandoned gas stations, and ghost towns.

Besides writing, what’s your passion?

Some include hiking, taking care of my pets, growing unusual fruit, good vegan food, live music (especially indie rock).