Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the M.F.A. program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003) which won the New York / New England Award and Mixology (Penguin, 2009), a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His most recent collection of poems, The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Big Smoke was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His new book, Map to the Stars, was published by Penguin in March 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, two grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Julia Peterkin Award and a Pushcart Prize; he also has fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches in the M.F.A. program at Indiana University in Bloomington and is currently working on a new collection of poems, Hearing Damage, and a graphic novel.
Map to the Stars, the fourth poetry collection from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adrian Matejka, navigates the tensions between race, geography, and poverty in America during the Reagan Era. In the time of space shuttles and the Strategic Defense Initiative, outer space is the only place equality seems possible, even as the stars serve to both guide and obscure the earthly complexities of masculinity and migration. In Matejka’s poems, hope is the link between the convoluted realities of being poor and the inspiring possibilities of transcendence and escape—whether it comes from Star Trek, the dream of being one of the first black astronauts, or Sun Ra’s cosmic jazz.