Notes From The Bonfire is Matt Nagin’s third poetry collection, a multimedia extravaganza, with photography by Andrzej Jerzy Lech and illustrations by Natasha Yearwood. In March of 2020, Matt came down with coronavirus and wrote these poems during the five weeks he was trying to recover. They cover a range of subjects, although the overarching theme is the dystopian suffering unleashed by this global pandemic.
Matt Nagin is a writer, educator, actor, filmmaker, and standup comedian. Matt has taught college writing at seven universities in the NYC area, among them Fordham, Long Island University, and The Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2018, his poem, "If We Are Doomed," won The Spirit First Editor's Choice Award. Another poem, "Birds Singing In His Chest," was published in the anthology "New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019." He has two poetry books available on Amazon, "Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight," and "Feast of Sapphires," both of which have obtained very strong critical and reader reviews. Kirkus Reviews, for example, referred to Matt's first book as "powerful verse from a writer of real talent."
Matt’s first collection of humorous writings, “From the Fridge to the Crackerjack Box”, was published in 2007, and since then he’s had satirical work showcased in The Humor Times, The Satirist, Robot Butt, The Daily Squib, Points In Case, The Higgs-Weldon, The New York Post, and many others. He also wrote/directed a short film, “Inside Job,” that won awards on the festival circuit, such as Best Short at The Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes and Best Supporting Actor at the Nice International Film Festival.
As an actor, Matt has appeared on a wide range of TV and film programs, most recently in a Co-Star role in a scene with Al Pacino, in a new Amazon series, "The Hunt," produced by Jordan Peele. Matt has further performed standup in seven countries, on The Dr. Steve Show, The Wendy Williams Show, and at The Edinburgh Comedy Festival. A survivor of Crohn’s disease, for thirty years, Matt was recently granted The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Mission Award.
Books by Matt Nagin
“Do Not Feed The Clown” is a humor collection, consisting of 34 short works, that highlight the absurdities of our socio-political climate. It further tackles the mayhem of our news cycle and the inconsistencies of cultural norms. This is a countercultural book, a bit of a challenge to the system, but in a lighthearted way and in the tradition of the court jester. While there are many humor books of this type on the market, this book stands out because of the wide range of topics covered and the precision of satirical analysis.
Feast of Sapphires is a compendium of a wide variety of poems, covering topics both timely and universal. There are poems of psychic revolution (for those ready to put down the Kool-Aid), poems about pretense and gun control, poems about MRI’s, gambling, and mystical storms of all varieties; then, too, on a deeper level, more than a few of these poems are about the desire to surmount the collective facade in search of a kind of truth that cannot be hyperlinked.
This highly-accessible, dynamic collection offers existential ponderings, comic situations, poetic meditations on death, musical riffs, political commentary, striking imagery and more. The 45 poems in this collection represent a range of styles and subject matter. 18 of these poems were previously published in such journals as Antigonish Review, Grain Magazine, Arsenic Lobster, Dash, Spillway, The Charles Carter, Downtown Brooklyn, and many, many more.