Imagine the Glacier

Matthew Burns, SUNY Cobleskill Professor, Releases Debut Poetry Collection, “Imagine the Glacier” from Finishing Line Press

Matthew Burns, associate professor of Humanities at SUNY Cobleskill, has published his debut poetry collection, entitled “Imagine the Glacier.” Born and raised in Upstate New York, Matthew Burns explores the transience of his environment – both natural and human-built – capturing images of beauty, brutality and intimacy within his work.

The 50-poem collection includes North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize winner “Rhubarb,” as well as Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominees. Poems from this collection have also appeared in Camas, Cleaver Magazine, ellipsis…, The Lake, Paterson Literary Review, Posit, RHINO, upstreet, and others.

“Rarely do I approach my writing with the thought of creating a ‘love poem’ or a ‘nature poem.’ I let the process take hold and draw on feelings, emotions, and the natural elements by which I am surrounded. In the end, it’s not so much about what the poem means as it will mean something different to everyone. It is about invoking a feeling in the reader. Poetry is at its best when it is excavating the reader’s head, heart, and ear in the search for deeper meaning,” says Burns. “Imagine the Glacier” is available through these independent booksellers: Ampersand Books (Rochester, NY), The Golden Notebook (Woodstock, NY), Oblong Books (Millerton & Rhinebeck, NY), Schenectady Trading Co. (Schenectady, NY), Rough Draft Bar & Books (Kingston, NY), and Northshire Bookstore (Saratoga, NY). It is also available for purchase online at, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other Ingram Book Group vendors.

Praise for “Imagine the Glacier”

“Maintenance is the expense no one ever estimates correctly, and that margin of error, of uncertainty is the real cost, the one Matthew Burns assesses with such precision in “Imagine the Glacier.” None of the losses too small to record; none of the gains sufficient to offset the atrophy of old towns, the calamity of wildfire, the darkness surrounding a train’s headlight on a curve. But to see this all clearly is to experience what these poems offer so generously and scrupulously, a world as immediately present as it is imperiled.” Jordan Smith, author of “Little Black Train”

“Burns casts a compassionate, granular gaze on human-built and natural environments, capturing their interconnections and textures in gorgeous, vividly rendered poems. Embracing the warp and weft of deep time and personal memory, “Imagine the Glacier” teaches us how to live – “how to go home” – in the Anthropocene.” – Sarah Giragosian, author of “The Death Spiral”

“Contained within Burns’s exacting language are expressions of profound generosity and praise, but also a grave and, at times, frightening quietude. The effect is a kind of gothic pastoral. As the poems breathe and carve their path, their relics start to twitch and knock against the cabinets.” – James Capozzi, author of “Country Album” and “Devious Sentiments

About the Author

Matthew Burns teaches a variety of writing and literature courses. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Binghamton University, a Master’s in American Studies from Lehigh University, and a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Rochester. Burns has served as editor of Harpur Palate, Heron Tree, and a special graffiti-themed issue of Rhizomes: Culture Studies in Emerging Knowledge. His scholarly work often focuses on the less-than-common and has included papers and courses on

subjects as varied as Graffiti Linguistics, 20th-Century Music Subcultures, Hobos and Contemporary Transience, and Working Class Literature.

Website: Instagram: @matthew.r.burns

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