BOOKS

Nightwood Editions 2021

Many cultures have had names for seers like Matt Rader. Contemporary Western culture has none. This is the book of a man who has died more than once and who carries with him knowledge of the point where being’s blaze touches nothingness. A book of profound humility and intense vision.

— Jan Zwicky


It's honestly, no bullshit, one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Ghosthawk speaks to me on a profound level.

— Jordan Scott

Nightwood Editions 2019

Matt Rader’s Visual Inspection is an art object, an ethnography of a city, a medical history of a body pitted against itself, and a searching examination of the inscrutability of sense and sensation and, by extension, empathy, politics and creativity. What fascinates me about Rader’s poetic practice is that it is in excess of the page, is against the sovereignty of text, is driven more by worldliness than wordiness, but the writing is nonetheless graceful, collaborative, referential and emotional. This is a combination that holds your attention, that shows you how to attend. 

—Billy-Ray Belcourt

McClelland and Stewart 2016

By some alchemy of voice, detail, collision, and disobedience to chronology, Desecrations reveals the imagination as a worthy location of real experience. These poems are a new way to orbit around a locus of damage, a new fabric of signs and singing that we can't help but realize we'd been yearning for all along.

—Ken Babstock

Nightwood Editions 2014

"I love this book for both the swagger and economy of its language, and for the mad and brilliant way it splices time. I love it because it populates its stories with peoples, geographies and lives so often missing from our fictive landscapes, and because it does so with imagination, bravado and a seriously beautiful wit."

 —Madeliene Thien


"'All lives have secrets and every secret has a life.' Matt Rader's stories live and breathe in the private space that only the best fiction occupies. Eclectic, idiosyncratic, surprising, completely compelling, I loved this collection. What I want to tell you goes like this: read this book." 

—Michael Crummey

House of Anansi 2011

A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno carries within it all the technique, vision, imaginative labour, and razor-sharp precision of Matt Rader’s first two collections... But it also ascends to a new and luminous, demanding, particularized realm of the human.

—Ken Babstock

Nightwood Editions 2008


Matt Rader's Living Things features poems that are essentially catalogues of experience. There's a Witmanesque interest in singing of everyday things, but within the constraints of form, including rhyme that's almost invisible ... simply lovely imagery ... Living Things thrives.

—George Elliott Clarke, Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Rader throws off sparks from first to last here...Rader is a Wordsworthian, contemplative, lofty-voiced poet by nature. But at some key points in Living Things he ceases to muse, gets wild, and starts driving big poetic ideas home with sonic collision, and big emotions. Great phrases leap from nearly every piece ...  

—Lyle Neff, sub-Terrain

Nightwood Editions 2005

Very impressive... Rader has craft to burn and a compelling dark vision of life.

—Zachariah Wells, Quill & Quire


It's hard to believe this is Rader's first book... The poet has the ability to see strange things, the quirky unseen details that might be difficult to mention... He documents that continuing sensual edge between the bright light and the burn.

—Jacqueline Turner, The Georgia Straight