About Me

Matt-Hohner-Smiling Log Pile 1For 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 hyperlinks to my poems, articles, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. online.

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 former high school English teacher, is an editor of Loch Raven Review. He holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Prairie SchoonerSky Island Journal, Rattle: Poets Respond, The Baltimore Review, The Cardiff ReviewNew ContrastTakahēStony ThursdaySeptember Eleven: Maryland Voices, The Potomac, Lily, The Mom Egg Review, Truck, The Moth, The Irish Times, Free State Review, Rise Up Review, and Sport Literate Magazine. His chapbook States was published by Third Ear Books in 1999.

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 and a Best of the Net 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 Moth 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.

Most recently, Hohner was shortlisted for the 2022 Live Canon International Poetry Competition in the UK, highly commended in the 2022 New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, and commended in the 2022 McLellan International Poetry Competition in Scotland.

Hohner placed second in the 2021 Connecticut River Review Vivian Shipley Poetry Award for his poem “This Poem has Been Sanitized for Your Protection.” About his poem, judge Robert Cording calls it “a truly inventive tongue-in-cheek romp about safety-proofing our world, which of course can’t be sanitized or made safe.  The poem has a finely tuned ear for the cliches of our time and knows how to turn those cliches on their head and, more seriously, make the reader aware of both what we think we want and what precisely we don’t want—a sanitized world where “all negative thoughts are converted to the American Dream.” And it is a list poem that knows how to make a list function with a beginning, middle and end.  And what a wonderful place in which the poem ends up.” Click here and scroll down to read Hohner’s second-place poem, the judge’s comments, and the other terrific award-winning poems. 

Hohner also placed second overall (out of 2987 entries worldwide!) in the 2021 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.”

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 held two residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, one of which was made possible by a fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. A residency at Anam Cara in Ireland is forthcoming.