We Prefer the Damned, Carlo Matos

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“Powerful, frank and moving.” “A haunting music.” “Unsparing love poems with a fierce fighter’s joy at their core.”

We Prefer the Damned, the 11th book from Carlo Matos, features poems exploring bisexual relationships, erasure, and denial. 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 weave his Portuguese-American heritage and bi+ lived experience. Through language turned 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 false accusations of not being Queer enough or, simultaneously, of being too sexual and  incapable of monogamy. These poems also trace the boundaries where such issues interact with a working-class, child-of-immigrants upbringing, in which the very words for describing bisexuality did not exist. With We Prefer the Damned, Carlo Matos creates that missing language.

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.


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