Carlo Matos
Photograph by Sean Murphy

Carlo Matos

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Carlo Matos is a bisexual-plus author who has published ten books, including The Quitters and It’s Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in such journals as Hobart, DMQ Review, and PANK, among others.

He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois, is a professor at the City Colleges of Chicago, and a former MMA fighter.

Matos reveals tensions between the past and present. The poems are flirtatious, with titles like “Cat and Mouth,” “Dar a Luz [giving the light],” and “Taking the Light,” and deftly turn from the external world to the speaker’s inner struggle, where there are no clear answers. He sees “the difference between childhood and adulthood” as a time of illusory expectations (“Cursing the Bisexual”)—a time when “we survive our foolishness” or “we survive without it” (“The Plateau”). These poems are sharp and tender.

Ruben Quesada, Harvard Review

The resolute interiority of this poetry of conflicted yearnings can make it challenging to decipher… Cryptic, sometimes-baffling works whose intense, colorful language captures the imagination.

Kirkus Reviews

In a relentless searching of self, We Prefer the Damned mines both the harsh and the tender. This collection is both the digging and the earth.

Michael Torres, Author of An Incomplete List of Names

In We Prefer the Damned, Carlo Matos explores his bi+(-furcated) world: straddled between two worlds, two choices, two sexes, between denial and desire, between enlightenment and solace. Matos shares what it is like to be “between the old world and the new halfway between places we don’t belong to.” This is a powerful, frank, and moving collection of poems where, as Matos writes, “even a major chord can sound like dissonance” and, yet, can still make for a haunting music.

Scott Edward Anderson, Author of Azorean Suite / Suite A oriana

These are unsparing love poems with a fierce fighter’s joy at their core.