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Mathew Spano

Mathew Spano

Born: in Summit New Jersey, USA
Resides: Hillsborough, New Jersey, USA
E-mail: mat_spano (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mat is Professor of English at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey where he teaches English Composition and Mythology in Literature. He is also Co-Director of the MCC Honors Program and Associate Editor of Middlesex: A Literary Journal. In addition to publishing essays and short stories based on Jungian psychology and mythology, Mat has also published many haiku. His work has appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Simply Haiku, Cicada, The Piedmont Literary Review, Identity Theory, Nor ‘Easter, College English Notes, The Home News, and The Los Angeles Times.

Awards and Other Honors: In 1992, Mat won the Michael Ellis Prize for Outstanding Master’s Thesis. In 2002, he earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and his dissertation focused on the work of Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse. In October 2003, Mat presented a paper at the Symposium Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Rutgers University Graduate School, New Brunswick. His presentation was entitled “Reverse Globalizations: The Case of Haiku.” In 2005, Mat’s poetry was included in The Poets of New Jersey: From Colonial to Contemporary, an acclaimed historical anthology of New Jersey poets featuring such poets as Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams. In 2007, his poetry was chosen to be included in Baseball Haiku: the Best Haiku Written About the Game, an anthology published by W.W. Norton and Co. featuring leading haiku poets from The United States and Japan. In 2008, his poetry was published in dust of summers: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, a collection of the world’s best English-language haiku for 2007, published by Red Moon Press. In summer 2008, Mat was Featured Poet at the Somerset Patriot’s Baseball Game. He read his baseball haiku over the PA system to a full house in the Patriot’s stadium and threw out the first pitch.

Selected Work
spring cleaning
the final notes
of an old music box
toddler’s first:
one small step
toward the moon in the window
tropical fish tank—
fingerprint smudges
on the "Do Not Touch" sign
Valentine's dusk
the widow takes down
her Christmas lights
town cannon
a finch with twigs vanishes
down the muzzle
in the autumn night
the home run ball

Credits: "spring cleaning" - Modern Haiku 38.2 (2007); dust of summers: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2007 (Red Moon Press, 2008); "tropical fish tank" - Frogpond 22:2 (1999); The Poets of New Jersey: From Colonial to Contemporary (Jersey Shore Press, 2005); "town cannon" - The Heron’s Nest 11.3 (2009); "toddler’s first" - The Heron’s Nest 12.1 (2010); "Valentine’s dusk" - Simply Haiku 6.2 (2008); "alone" - Modern Haiku 36.3 (2005); Baseball Haiku: The Best Haiku Ever Written About the Game (W.W. Norton & Co., 2007).

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