About Me

HohnerAuthorPic2For my professional qualifications and experience as a teacher and creative writing instructor, check out my C.V. in the menu. Contact me via this website to request a current electronic copy of my C.V. or résumé with live hyperlinks to my poems, articles, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. online.

A Dialect of Hammers, my second full-length poetry collection, will be published by Salmon Poetry in 2023.

My book Thresholds and Other Poems (Apprentice House Press 2018) is available to order here.

View some of my poetry videos on my YouTube channel here.

Matt Hohner, a Baltimore native, holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Baltimore Review, September Eleven: Maryland Voices, The Potomac (online), Lily (online), The Mom Egg Review, Truck (online), Rattle: Poets Respond, The Moth, The Irish Times (twice!), Free State Review, Rise Up Review, and Sport Literate Magazine. His chapbook States was published by Third Ear Books. Hohner’s poems have won the Oberon Prize for Poetry, the 2015 Lascaux Prize in Poetry, the Sport Literate Anything but Baseball Poetry Prizetaken both third place in, and won, the Maryland Writers Association Poetry Prize. Hohner’s poem “A Poet Sits Down to Write After a Massacre” (about the white supremacist terrorist attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA) won the 2019 Doolin Writers’ Weekend Poetry Prize in Ireland and was commended in the Munster Literature Centre’s 2019 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize in Ireland. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Hohner once won a poetry slam on Whidbey Island, Washington over the phone from Baltimore. His poems have been finalists for the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Poetry Prize, the Cobalt Earl Weaver Prize for Baseball Writing, and the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize in Ireland. Hohner has collaborated with Bec Plexus, an internationally recognized composer and musician from The Netherlands to adapt his poem “How to Unpack a Bomb Vest” (Rattle: Poets Respond, 2017) for lyrics to her original music score that debuted live at the 2018 Crosslinx Music Festival in Amsterdam, and which now can be heard on a CD by the Dutch band Vonk.

Hohner most recently placed second overall (out of 2987 entries worldwide!) in the Fish Publishing International Poetry Prize in Ireland for his poem “Chemo.” Final judge Billy Collins writes, “This poem smartly and charmingly avoids the slippery slope of the maudlin that goes easily with the sub-genre of cancer poetry.  The saving grace is the friendship of the patient and her visitor and the humor they mix into the horrifying toxic effects of her treatment, including a serum ‘meant to almost kill her in order to kill/the tumor growing inside her head.’  We feel the seriousness under the joking, and the love under the horrid symptoms.  It’s a poem that keeps it cool under the immediate pressure of life and death.”

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THRESHOLDS AND OTHER POEMS by Matt Hohner, published by Apprentice House Press

In selecting Hohner’s poem “Curfew” as the winner of the 2016 Oberon Poetry Award, final judge Mark Wagenaar writes: “I chose ‘Curfew’ for a few reasons. This is a subtle poem that begins in etymology–in other words, the poem’s scope immediately widens to the implied history of the word. Yet, line by line the poem’s lens draws in tighter & tighter, until the reader is viewing the streets as they burn, then listening to the eerie quiet. The soundscape of the poem is rich, yet the poet dampens the sound when silence is called for. The poem manages to reckon with racial violence and the tension between authority & protestor, between security & liberty, between the state and the people’s right to assemble, yet it does so with a light touch, through well-brushed rendering of detail & precision of language. Perhaps more importantly, it avoids the cheap moralizing & finger-pointing so common to political poems. The poem surprises us. It will not look away, & demands that we do not look away.”

Hohner has been a resident at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, made possible by a fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. A former high school English teacher, Hohner is an editor of Loch Raven Review.