Part memoir, part needle-skipping-in-its-groove travelogue, part collection of lyric poetry, Mauch juxtaposes agile musings on the Troubles in Belfast with frontline anecdotes from the protests, and when we shift from his evocative prose into poetry, it's as if his dispatches have broken open into a murmuration of starlings. Infectiously readable, A Northern Spring is a beautifully unsettled text for a poignantly destabilized world.
– Michael Bazzett
It's remarkable the way Mauch [in A northern spring] can focus on two subjects at once—Covid19 and 9/11, The Troubles in Ireland and fractured US politics. As he shifts between distant observation and intimate experience, he’s like an optometrist asking of each lens “Which is better, this…or this?” It’s maybe not all better, but the past few years become a bit more focused for reading these poems.
– Heid E. Erdrich
Mauch’s movement [in a northern spring] between genres & forms, poetry & prose, calls attention to the ruptures of lyric time, ruptures apparent in his subject matter: the Belfast Troubles, the coronavirus pandemic, the murder of George Floyd—hybridity as subversion of verse, against
the procedures of prose.
– Heidi Czerwiec
[IN MAUCH's POems] we have the kind of shimmering lyric insights
that can come only from a mind and heart
far along the path of enlightenment.
– Melissa Studdard
[Mauch's] expansive poems give quiet, insistent attention to what might be commonly dismissed as the outskirts . . . where Mauch magnifies them to astonishing, sometimes even damning, insight. we see a middle America blazing with flashes of beauty, of conviction,
and even of resistance.
– Gale marie Thompson
"[mauch's] work is . . . embracing, driven, often breathlessly so, not so much to capture life as to make life, to create poems that have a pulse."
– Bob Hicok
"Mauch's poems do what the inventive brain does, whirling in and out of railings with the self . . . his rough handling of beauty enhances beauty . . . These are genuine, raw, sprawling poems that unveil the ghost self perfectly."
– Bianca Stone
"every line of mauch's poems is flooded with words and turns, and yet every line is borne upon the understanding that the world can only be documented by an awe that cannot be spoken—the poetry, and there is rich poetRy here, is in the effort to speak it."
– shane mcCrae
"In bird~brian, matt mauch has blossomed a heart-swollen landscape from the mundane—the alleyway, the cubicle, the interstate. His tornadic writing is a brilliant abracadabra—a lavish spiraling together and upward of intellect and emotion, of belief and need and fun . . . this is a marvelous book."
– alex lemon
"Mauch has created a veritable liturgy through which he attempts both to locate and challenge his specific place in america, confronting the many social and gendered limits imposed on him—and all of us."
– Paisley Rekdal
"these poems [in mauch's If you're lucky is a theory of mine] showcase a rare understanding of how the everyday griefs and splendors
of this world often converge, refreshing and reviving us . . . a testament to mauch's keen poetic talents and his buoyant imagination and heart."
– Aimee nezhukumatathil
"Imagine a pan-galactic gargleblaster of a poetic cocktail shaken and stirred with jigger of billy bragg, a splash of sun ra, a shot of desnos mowing the lawn, and a windowpane of blake hurtling across the cloverleafed overpass as if it were one of the rings of saturn . . . these poems are psychedelically gorgeous in their turns of language and musical momentum, and will repeatedly rocketship you to the unexpectedly trippy spaces of both the universal and the mundane."
– lee ann roripaugh
"in poems that are as hungry, beseeching and disarmingly honest as private thought, mauch reconnects us to distant parts of ourselves."
– Dobby gibson