Skip to content

Meet Adrian Matejka, the first Black editor to lead Poetry magazine in its 110-year history | App

CHICAGO — Adrian Matejka, Indiana’s poet laureate from 2018-2019, is still trying to figure out Chicago’s bus system. He laughs about missing his bus heading to the Poetry Foundation on Superior Street because a new neighbor recognized him and said, “I love poetry, and heard that you’re the new editor. Let’s talk.”

He graciously introduced himself and Matejka offered his thanks to the neighbor for supporting poetry. As he left his building, he watched the bus drive away.

This page requires Javascript.

Javascript is required for you to be able to read premium content. Please enable it in your browser settings.

kAm“x 6?565 FA D:EE:?8 @FE E96C6 A@FC:?8 DH62E H:E9 2 DF:E 4@2E @? 😕 E96DF? 2?5 >256 :E 96C6 — 62C=:6C E92? J’2== 5:5[ =F4<:=J[ D@ x H2D 23=6 E@ D6EE=6 5@H?] x7 J@F 925 366? 96C6 `_ >:?FE6D 62C=:6C[ J@F H@F=5 92G6 E9@F89Ei ‘|2?[ E9:D 8FJ 😀 😕 @G6C 9:D 9625[’” 96 D2:5]k^am

kAm|2E6;<2 :D =2:5 324< H:E9 2 =:=E:?8 G@:46 E92E @?6 42? @?=J DFC>:D6 4@>6D 7C@> J62CD @7 9@?:?8 9:D 4C27E 😕 AF3=:4 C625:?8D]%96 =:DE @7 HC:E:?8 2H2C5D 96’D 366? ?@>:?2E65 7@C 😀 =@?8i w:D E9:C5 4@==64E:@? @7A@6>D[ “%96 q:8 $>@<6[” H2D 2 7:?2=:DE 7@C E96 a_`b }2E:@?2= q@@< pH2C5[ E96 a_`c wFCDE@?^(C:89E {6824J pH2C5 2?5 E96 a_`c !F=:EK6C !C:K6 :? A@6ECJ[ H9:=6 9:D >@DE C646?E 4@==64E:@? @7 A@6>D[ “$@>63@5J t=D6 $@=5 E96 (@C=5[” H2D 2 7:?2=:DE 7@C E96 a_aa #:=<6 !C:K6]k^am

kAm}@H[ E96 x?5:2?2 &?:G6CD:EJ 2E q=@@>:?8E@? #FE9 {:==J AC@76DD@C 😕 t?8=:D9 😀 2=D@ !@6ECJ >282K:?6’D 7:CDE q=24< 65:E@C :? :ED ``_J62C 9:DE@CJ] w:D 2CC:G2= 4@>6D 27E6C |:496==6 q@@?6 😕 a_a` k2 9C67lQ9EEADI^^HHH]49:428@EC:3F?6]4@>^6?E6CE2:?>6?E^3@@=Qm3642>6 AC6D:56?E @7 E96 ?@?AC@ 7:E !@6ECJ u@F?52E:@?k^2m[ H9:49 @G6CD66D E96 >282K:?6] $96 😀 E96 7:CDE H@>2? 2?5 A6CD@? @7 4@=@CE@ =625 E96 :?DE:EFE:@?]k^Am

kAm|2E6;<2 E2<6D E96 65:E@CD9:A 27E6C E96 !@6ECJ u@F?52E:@? 42>6 F?56C 7:C6 7@C :ED :?:E:2= C6DA@?D6 E@ AC@E6DED 7@==@H:?8 v6@C86 u=@J5’D 562E9 : ? a_a_ 2?5 ​​H92E D@>6 A6C46:G65 2D 2 D=@H C6DA@?D6 😕 AC@G:5:?8 k2 9C67lQ9EEADI^^HHH]49:428@EC:3F?6]4@>^4@C@?2G:CFD^4E3@@H2DE@CJ]9E>=Qm7:?2?4:2= 2: 5 E@ 2CE:DED 5FC:?8 E96 A2?56>:4k^2m]x? yF?6 a_a_[ !@6ECJ u@F?52E:@? !C6D:56?E w6?CJ q:6?6? k2 9C67lQ9EEADi^^HHH]49:428@EC:3F?6]4@>^6?E6CE2:?>6?E^3@@=QmC6D:8?65 27E6C >@C6 E92? `[g__ A6@A=6 D:8?65k^2m 2? @A6? =6EE6C 56?@F?4:?8 E96 7@F?52E:@? 7@C 72:=:?8 E@ 5@ >@C6 E@ DFAA@CE >2C8:?2=:K65 2CE:DED] $:?46 E96?[ k2 9C67lQ9EEADi^^HHH]A@6ECJ7@F?52E:@?]@C8^7@F?52E:@?^AC6DD^`dbge_^@A6?=6EE6C@74@>>:E>6?EE @@FC4@>>F?:EJQmE96 7@F?52E:@? :DDF65 2 A=2?k^2m E@ H@C< E@H2C5 =@?8E6C> 6BF:EJ 2?5 6IA2?565 8C2?E 7F?5:?8]k^Am

kAm“xE’D H:=5 E@ 36 E96 7:CDE q=24< 65:E@C ]]]E@ 36 E96 7:CDE 65:E@C @7 4@=@C 2E 2= =[ :E’D 2 H@?56C7F= 9@?@C 2?5 2=D@ A@:?ED E@ E96 4@>A=:42E65 =6824J @7 E9:D >282K:?6[” |2E6;<2 D2:5] “xE'D DF49 2 46?EC2= :?DE:EFE:@? E@ E96 H@C< E92E A@6ED 5@ 2?5 2E E96 D2>6 E:>6[ 7@C 2 =@?8 E:>6[ :E H2D :?4C65:3=J 9@>@86?:DE:4]” w6 D2:5 :E’D ?@E E92E 5:DD:>:=2C E@ E96 =2FC62E6D9:A 😕 x?5:2?2 😕 E96 D6?D6 @7 2 3:886C 2CED @C82?:K2E:@?^6?E:EJ ?@E C62==J E9:?<:?8 23@FE 5:G6CD:EJ @C 9 @HE@ 36 C6AC6D6?E2E:G6 :? E96D6 4@>>F?:E:6D F?E:= E96 A2DE `_ J62CD]k^Am

kAm“(96? vH6?5@=J? qC@@6?ED 2?5 😕 36EH66? E96 :?DE:EFE:@?D[ E96J 2C6 42E6C:?8 E@ E96 A6@A=6 H9@ 42E6C E@ E96>[” |2E6;<2 D2:5] “u@C 2 G6CJ =@?8 E:>6[ A@6ECJ — E96 2CE — H2D ;FDE 9:89=:89E:?8 H9:E6 >6?[ @442D:@?2==J 2 H9:E6 H@>2?[ 2? 24E:@? E92E C67=64ED @FC 4@F?ECJ’D C6D:DE2?46 E@ 5:G6CD:EJ] %96 8@@5 E9:?8 23@FE 2 56>@4C24J 😀 E92E :7 J@F 92G6 2 =@E @7 G@E6CD @7 4@=@C[ E96J 42? G@E6 7@C 42?5:52E6D @7 4@=@C[ 3FE E92E’D ?@E 9@H 2CED @C82?:K2E:@?D H@C<] xE'D ?@E 9@H =:E6C2CJ ;@FC?2=DH@C<]xE'D ?@E 9@H >282K:?6D H@C>@? 42FD6 E@ >2<6 WE96 >282K:?6X =@@< >@C6 =:<6 H92E @FC 4@>>F?:EJ =@@

kAm(6 DA@<6 H:E9 |2E6;<2 2E E96 k2 9C67lQ9EEADI^^HHH]A@6ECJ7@F?52E:@?]@C8^Qm!@6ECJ u@F?52E:@?k ^2m 3F:=5:?8 23@FE 9:DA=2?D 2D 65:E@C @7 k2 9C67lQ9EEADI^^HHH]A@6ECJ7@F?52E:@?]@C8^A@6ECJ >282K:?6n84=:5lr;Hzrp;Hcer’q9q`t:Hp8Je|cDe?er_0q8(bwrtaDdc9qB+|&t:Ib(;vA# @rh{x”pGs0qHtQm!@6ECJ >282K:?6k^2m 367@C6 9:D 7:CDE :DDF6 😀 C6=62D65 😕 ~4E@36C]%96 :?E6CG:6H 92D 366? 4 @?56?D65 2?5 65:E65 7@C 4=2C:EJ]k^Am

kAm”is:5 E9:DA@D:E:@? D66> =:<6 2 8@@5 D68F6 27E6C E96 =2FC62E6D9:A @C 5:5 J@F D66 2? @AA@CEF?: EJ 2?5 2AA=J 7@C :Enk^Am

kAmpi xE’D <:?5 @7 :? 36EH66? E9@D6 E9:?8D]x =67E E96 =2FC62E6D9:A 27E6C >J EH@ J62CD]r~’xs 92AA6?65[ 3FE x H2D DE:== E6249:?8] p?5 E96? E9:D @AA@CEF?:EJ AC6D6?E65 :ED6=7]]]](96? E96J 7:CDE :?E6CG:6H65 >6[ x H2D?’E DFC6 :7 :E H2D E96 C:89E ;@3 7@C >6[ 3FE x 925?’E E2=<65 E@ |:496==6 2?5 x 925?’E >6E E96 3@2C5 @C E96 4FCC6?E DE277 2E E96 >282K:?6] x ;FDE H2D E9:?<:?8 23@FE E92E W@A6?X =6EE6C[ E9:?<:?8 23@FE E96 H@C< E92E H2D :?G@=G65 :? E92E 2?5 ECJ:?8 E@ 7:8FC6 @FE 9@H x >:89E D:EF2E6 >JD6=7 2D 2 A@6E 3FE 2=D@ 2D D@>6@?6 H9@ E9:?>F?:EJ 2== E96 E:>6 2?5 E9:?

kAm”i r2? J@F D92C6 J@FC 8@2=D 7@C E9:DA@D:E:@?n (6 2== 6]k^Am

kAmpi x’> =F4282K:?6 2C6 2== 4@>>:EE65 E@ E92E W492?86X]xE >2<6D :E 2 =:EE=6 3:E 62D:6C E@ DE2CE E@ E9 :?< 23@FE 9@HE@ 27764E :E H96? 6G6CJ@?6 :D :? 28C66>6?E E92E H6 ?665 E@ >2<6 D@>6 492?86D]}@H H6 92G6 E@ 7:8FC6 @FE H92E E92E 492?86 =@@

kAmu@C >6[ :E DE2CED H:E9 E96 >282K:?6 2?5 9@H :E’D A@D:E:@?65 😕 E96 H@C=5[ 😕 E96 A286D] p?5 H9@ 2C6 H6 4C62E:?8 DA246 7@C @? E9@D6 A286D H9@ 92G6?’E 366? 😕 E96C6 367@C6n (6’C6 4@>>:EE65 E@ ECJ:?8 E@ 92G6 2 E9:C5 @7 6249 >282K:?6 36 A6@A=6 H9@ 92G6?’E 366? AF3 =:D965 😕 :E 367@C6[ 2?5 E9:D 😀 2? @?8@:?8 E9:?8]k^am

kAm~?6 @7 E96 E9:?8D x 564:565 H6 H6C6 8@:?8 E@ 5@ 2D 2 >282K:?6 😀 :?DE625 @7 ECJ:?8 E@ 7:8FC6 @ FE 9@HE@ C64E:7J 2== E96 @>:DD:@?D 2?5 6C2DFC6D E92E 92G6 92AA6?65 @G6C E96 =@?8 9:DE@CJ @7 E96 “_ J62CD @7 E9:D >282K:?6[ H6’C6 8@:?8 E@ 7@4FD @? 7:8FC:?8 @FE 9@H E@ 9:89=:89E E96 A6@A=6 E92E D9@F=5 92G6 366? E96C6 E@ DE2CE H:E9]k^am

kAmx? E96 7:CDE :DDF6[ E96C6’D 8@:?8 E@ 36 2 7@=:@ @7 A@6E r2C@=J? #@586CD[ H9@’D 7C@> r9:428@[ 2 A96?@>6?2= A@6E 2?5 H2D ?6G6C 😕 E96 >282K:?6[ 2?5 D96’D A2CE @7 E96 q=24< pCED |@G6>6?E]k^am

kAm”i (:E9 E96 4F=EFC2= D9:7E[ E96C6’D 2=D@ E96 3F:=5:?8 @7 ECFDE] u@C E9@D6 H9@’G6 366? F?D66? 7@CD@ =@?8[ 9@H 5@ J@F E6== E96> E96 >282K:?6 😀 H@C<:?8 E@ 82:? E96:C ECFDEnk^Am

kAmpi xE’D 2=C625J D9@H:?8 😕 E96 >282K:?6j A6@A=6 2C6?’E =@@<:?8 :? E96 D2>6 H2J] x 9@A6 E96J H:== =@@< ?@H](6 8@E 2 q=24< AC6D:56?E](6'G6 8@E 2 q=24< 65:E@C ]%92E ?@E @?=J =@@[ :E =@@ 2?JE9:?8 E92E’D 8@:?8 E@ 4@?G:?46 D<6AE:4D E92E 492?86 92D 92AA6? 65[ 3FE H96? E96J D66 :E[ H96? H6 D9@H E96> E9C@F89 @FC AC@8C2>>:?8 2?5 😕 E96 A286D E96>D6=G6D[ E92E’D H96? x E9:?< :E 2== DE2CED E@ 364@>6 4=62C E92E E9:D 😀 2 H9@=6 @E96C !@6ECJ u@F?52E:@?]k^am

kAm«i (2D E96C6 2?J 96D:E2E:@? @? J@FC A2CE 😕 DE66C:?8 E9:D EC2?D7@C>2E:@?nk^Am

kAmpi %96 492==6?86 7@C >6 H2D ECJ:?8 E@ 7:8FC6 @FE H96E96C @C ?@E x 4@F=5 36 2 8@@@5 DE6H2C5 @7 E9:D >282K:?6[ H9:=6 2=D@ E2<:?8 42C6 @7 >J @H? H@C< 2?5 9@H E92E H@F=5 27764E >6[ E96 9F>2? 36:?8] x’G6 366? two? 65:E@C 367@C6 7F== E:>6 2?5 x H2D?’E 23=6 E@ 7:?5 2 H2J E@ HC:E6]~?6 @7 E96 E9:?8D E92E x H2D E9:?<:?8 23@FE H:E9 E9:D ;@3 H2D E92E >2J36 E96C6’D 2 5:776C6?E G6CD:@? @7 HC:E:?8 x’> DFAA@D65 E@ 36 5@:?8 ?@H]#:89E ?@H 😀 2 E:>6 H96C6 E96 <:?5 @7 4C62E:? 8 x'> 5@:?8 😀 4C62E:?8 DA246D 7@C A6@A=6 2?5 >2<:?8 @AA@CEF?:E:6D 7@C @E96CD]p? 5 :7 x H2=< 2H2J 7C@> E92E[ H92E <:?5 @7 A6CD@? 5@6D E92E >2<6 >6n (9@ 2> x 😕 E96 H@C=5 H96? x H2D 36:?8 @776C65 E9:D @AA@CEF?:EJ E@ 92G6 2446DD E@ E96D6 C6D@FC46D 2?5 E@ 92G6 2 A=2E7@C> 😕 !@6ECJ >282K:?6 E@ D9@H42D6 A@6ECJ 😕 E96 H@C=5n x’> 8@??2 D2J “}@[ x’> 8@@5n” x’> 8@:?8 E@ H@C< @? >J @H? A@6>Dnk^Am

kAm%92E 😀 2 A6C764E=J 2446AE23=6 564:D:@? E@ >2<6 2?5 x’> DFC6 D@>6 A6@A=6 5:5[ H9@ H6C6 2AAC@24965 23@FE E96 ;@3] xE’D ?@E E92E x 5@?’EF?56CDE2?5 E92E]xE’D ;FDE E92E D@ >2?J A6@A=6 96=A65 >6 2D x H2D 4@>:?8 FA 2D 2 HC:E6C 2?5 2 D49@=2C[ D@ >2?J A6@A=6 H9@ 5:5?’E 92G6 E@ E2<6 E96:C E:>6 @FE E@ >6?E@C >6] %96J 5:5?’E 92G6 E@ E2<6 E96 E:>6 @FE E@ =@@< 2E 2 A@6>]%96 A6@A=6 H9@ DE@AA65 E96:C = :G6D E@ 96=A >6[ x’5 36 5:DC6DA64E:?8 E96> :7 x 5:5?’E E2<6 25G2?E286 @7 E9@D6 @AA@CEF?:E:6D E@ 5@ E92E 7@C @E96C A6@A=6]k^am

kAm”ip?JA=2?D 7@C 4@>>F?:EJ @FEC6249n u@C E9@D6 😕 >2C8:?2=:K65 4@>>F?:E:6D E@ 4@>6 E@ E96 !@6ECJ u@F?52E:@?2?5 6?8286 H:E9 J@Fnk^Am

kAmpi %96C6 2C6 EH@ 4@>A6E:?8 E9:?8Di :?4C65:3=6 ?665 😕 @FC 4@>>F?:EJ 7@C 6IA@DFC6[ 2446DD E@ 65F42E:@? 23@FE A@6ECJ[ 2?5 E96C6’D 2 9F?86C 7@C :E] p?5 E96? E96C6 2C6 2 ?F>36C @7 A6@A=6 H9@ 5@ E92E H@C<[ 3FE E96? E96J @G6C6IE6?5 E96>D6=G6D ECJ:?8 E@ 7:8FC6 @FE 9@H E@ 5@ :E] p?5 2E 2 A=246 =:<6 E96 !@6ECJ u@F?52E:@?[ :E 364@>6D 2 BF6DE:@? @7 9@H 5@ J@F 86E 96C6n pC6 H6 8@:?8 E@ 36 2G2:=23=6 😕 E92E >@>6?Enk^Am

kAm~?6 @7 E96 E9:?8D E92E x H@F=5 =:<6 E@ 5@ H:E9 E96 >282K:?6 😀 EFC? :E @FEH2C5[ 2?5 H6’C6 8@:?8 E@ A6@A=6 2D @AA@D65 E@ E96> 4@>:?8 E@ FD] %92E’D 8@:?8 E@ :?G@=G6 E96 DE277]qFE 2 =@E @7 E92E[ 2E =62DE 😕 >J G:D:@? 8@:?8 7@CH2C5[ 😀 8@:?8 E@ :?G@=G6 4@?EC:3FE@CD 2?5 4@>>F?:EJ >6>36CD H9@ 2C6 2=C625J 5@:?8 E9:D H@C< 2?5 H6 42? DFAA@CE E96> 3642FD6 H6 42?’E 5@ :E 2== 3J @FCD6=G6D] %92E’D H92E x =62C?65 2D 2 =2FC62E6]]]]x E9:?< E92E'D E96 H2J H6'C6 8@:?8 E@ 36 — ?@E @?=J ECJ:? 8 E@ 5@ E96 H@C< @FCD6=G6D 3FE ECJ:?8 E@ 7:?5 H2JD E@ 4C62E6 4@??64E:@?D 2?5 4C62E6 2446DD E9C@F89 6I:DE: ?8 @C82?:K2E:@?D]k^Am

kAm©a_aa r9:428@ %C:3F?6]’:D:E k2 9C67lQ9EEADI^^HHH]49:428@EC:3F?6]4@>^Qm49:428@EC:3F?6]4 @>k^2m]s:DEC:3FE65 3J k2 9C67lQ9EEADI^^HHH]EC:3F?64@?E6?E286?4J]4@>Qm%C:3F?6 r@?E6?E p86?4J[ {{r]k^2mk^Am

Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.