REVIEW BY CLARA SANKEY
Green Apple Books (San Francisco)
In If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?, Matthea Harvey combines poetry, photography, drawing, sculptures frozen within ice cubes, and erasure—whereby she whites out whole sections of a Ray Bradbury story, carving in her own strange, yet fluid narrative—to create an impressively original work. The book is divided into ten distinctive sections exploring everything from Mermaids, which Harvey has described as "sex objects who can't have sex," miniature Elvi (plural of Elvis), and the life and achievements of Italian inventor, Antonio Meucci. Each section of the book is unique, in scope, depth and media, showcasing the remarkable spectrum of Harvey’s artistic abilities. She has been described by NPR as, “a genius of the unusual, and of the dark underbelly of the adorable,” and this has never been truer than in her new work.
It is easy to walk away from reading Matthea Harvey’s new collection feeling a little bewildered, perhaps unsure of what you have just read and wondering how exactly it should be digested. Harvey’s poems are like a barrel of snakes, writhing and alive with metaphor and illusion, almost impossible to firmly grip, but step away for a few days, and the brilliance of this book will be revealed.