Spire Press, 2007
Out of print.
Signed copies available from author.
Reviews & Press
“Take a pear. Any pear. Divide it into sensuous surface and the idea of sensuous surface. Mix with one part philosophy and two parts jeu d’esprit. Pass the whole through a filter of buoyant affection for Cezanne, Van Gogh, Pissarro, and their everyday proliferation on posterboard and computer screen, and this is what you get: a fertile concoction of urban velocity posing as still life. Pear Slip is that wonderful thing: a sustained and disciplined act of fancy.”
— Linda Gregerson
“‘Send me sequences of pears,’ Matthew Hittinger writes, taking Wallace Stevens as a departure point for studying the world through what’s at hand, the form and color of a single, sensuous fruit. These witty, pleasurable poems conjure Cezanne and Satie, Bishop and Van Gogh, fellow students of the given world’s mysterious seductions — brought, in this poet’s capable hands, to the eyes and lips of the reader.”
— Mark Doty
“When you see the phrase ‘still life,’ what comes to your mind? Now that I’ve read the very engaging and inventive poems in Matthew Hittinger’s chapbook Pear Slip, I think primarily of pears. This award-winning chapbook (Spire Press, 2007) compiles eight poems, plus a preface entitled ‘Pear Poetics,’ which consider pears from several angles: as a subject of art (oil painting, drawing, watercolor); as a canned or crated commodity; as the often-neglected cousin of the apple; and as an embodiment of the shapely forms of his own poems as they peel down a page. His individual poems are linked not only thematically, but also linguistically. Mr. Hittinger plays with the various homophones and translations of the noun ‘pear’: to ‘pare’ a piece of fruit; pome (French or Latin for the pear-like ‘apple’ and also a homophone for ‘poem’); and a ‘pair’ of lovers.
“Some aspects of the poet’s ekphrasis are unique; at least, I’ve seen them in no other ekphrastic poem. First, one of his poems responds to the digital wallpaper on a laptop display, an image which he describes as ‘a stolen painting by Braque.’ Secondly, another of his poems responds to the ‘Untitled’ assignation of a painting in a museum.
“The blurb on the back cover praises the chapbook as ‘a fertile concoction. . .wonderful. . .a sustained and disciplined act of fancy’ (Linda Gregerson). I agree entirely.”
— Therese Broderick
December 13th, 2007: Book Launch at The Dove Parlour, New York, NY.
May 27, 2008: Therese Broderick reviews Pear Slip on her blog Ekphrasis: Poetry Inspired by Art.
January 31, 2009: Grady Harp, a top ten Amazon reviewer, reviews Pear Slip.
June 17, 2009: “This Is Not About Pears” appears on Verse Daily.