The Comeback’s Exoskeleton


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“Incorporating the density of Spanish surrealism and a sprawling Whitmanesque line, this amazing first book finds Rotando engaged in a poetic biathlon which draws equally from maximal and minimal traditions. There are tight, economical poems, free verse forms derived from the sonnet, poems leaping about the page, but my favorites are the wonderful prose poems tumbling over and under themselves toward gnomish statements that feel both didactic and self-parodying.”

—Tim Peterson, from the Foreword


“The rich, exultant writing in Matthew Rotando’s first collection is both comic and cosmic. Lyrics steeped in the Latin American literary tradition disclose what might be called the surreality of reality in contemporary American culture, while cadences of Stein and Barthelme make the prose poems in The Comeback’s Exoskeleton ring with laughter of great philosophical depth. This is a writer unafraid to love and to err, and to do so with irrepressible grace and humor. To read such unapologetically joyous work is a tonic for melancholy and a prescription for wonder.”

—Srikanth Reddy


“Truly worth its weight in ancient philosophies, Rotando’s The Comeback’s Exoskeleton, with tender contagion, celebrates the moon’s grit, stares into chameleon-eyed walls, and, cliff-topped near a high monastery, honors the plight of being made of thought, rats and voices alike.”

—Amy King

Matthew Rotando received an MFA from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and a Fulbright Foundation grant. He is a member of POG, a collective of artists and poets in Tuscon, Arizona. An avid rider of an old Italian bicycle, he is currently completing his Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Arizona.

Distributed for UpSet Press.