Unbound Edition Press today announced it will publish We Prefer the Damned, the 11th book from Carlo Matos. The collection of poems exploring bisexual relationships, erasure and denial, has a planned publication of October 2021.
Matos, equally celebrated for his fiction, poetry and prose-poetry, pushes toward a new grammar for intersectional identities as the poems in We Prefer the Damned work to integrate his Portuguese-American heritage and bi+ lived experience. Through language used and punctuated in fresh ways, Matos finds the structures and syntax to embrace past and present, old self and new self. His toughness as a former MMA fighter turns to the finessed strength of rigorous self-examination with these poems.
“The collection embraces the true complexities of the bi+/pan/poly experience, particularly accusations of not being queer enough or, at the same time, of being too sexual and incapable of monogamy, none of which is true,” says Matos. “These poems also trace the boundaries where such issues interact with my own working-class, child-of-immigrants upbringing, in which the very words for describing bisexuality did not exist. My family is from the Azores, so I belong to an ethnic group that has no representation in popular culture whatsoever.”
Recent research from Gallup (February 2021) reveals that Americans identifying as LGBT make up 5.6% of the U.S. population, a substantial increase from years past. Of those, 54.6% identify as bisexual. Gallup estimates more than 3% of all U.S. adults now self-identify as bisexual.
“We think Carlo’s book is both really timely and quite important,” says Patrick Davis, publisher at Unbound Edition Press. “Books like his will help advance the discourse surrounding bi issues, working-class life, and the cultural contexts so often erasing both.”
Carlo Matos is a bi+ author who has published ten books, including The Quitters (Tortoise Books) and It’s Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments (Negative Capability Press). His poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in Hobart, Rhino, PANK, DMQ Review, Diagram, and many others. His books have been reviewed by Boston Review, Iowa Review, Portuguese-American Journal, and Word Riot. Carlo has received grants and fellowships from Disquiet ILP (Portugal), CantoMundo, the Illinois Arts Council, the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and the La Romita School of Art (Italy). He is a founding member of the Portuguese-American writers collective Kale Soup for the Soul and a winner of the Heartland Poetry Prize. He currently lives in Chicago, is a professor at the City Colleges of Chicago, and is a former MMA fighter and kickboxer. He can also be found writing poems on demand with Poems While You Wait. He can be followed on Twitter @CarloMatos46.