The Miracle Machine
Winner of the 19th Gival Press Poetry Award-2019
by Matthew Pennock

The collection will be released in October 2020

“A 19th-century automaton and other museum exhibits narrate this collection of poems.
. . .
Uncanny, heart-wrenching, and beautifully crafted poems by an original voice.”
—Kirkus Reviews, August 5, 2020

Click here to read the complete review:
The Miracle Machine

Advance Praise
“Vast in scope, passionately imagined, and constructed with as much ingenuity as the famed contraption at its narrative’s heart, Matthew Pennock’s second book hints at serious ontological questions as it invents its hero’s journey from automaton to autonomy. Like all contrivances that simulate human life, Pennock’s synthetic boy compels us to interrogate our own materiality, and to ask, if we are all just portions of the twisting / stew of particles and light assembled by mechanical chance, then what puts the lonely in us? Packed with insight and wit and told by a congress of oddities—the narration travels back and forth in time and juggles various perspectives, including that of a trained seal, a fortune teller machine, and both halves of P.T. Barnum’s bogus mermaid— The Miracle Machine is an irresistible, at times provocative, and often powerfully affecting book.”
—Timothy Donnelly, author of The Problem of the Many

I am the thing itself declares Matthew Pennock’s robot boy. And we know it. We feel the thingness of things here, not just in the automaton, but in the chambers, and roads, and landscapes of his journey. In this new world of light and wire, everything interlocks and transforms as it moves, so that oldness feels new, and strangeness feels like love.”
—Samuel Amadon

“With a craftsman’s deftest precision and a thunder-powered imagination on DaVinci wings, the author recreates a lost world within a lost world that yet—when we look—shimmers with life within our world. Elegant, wondrously strange, The Miracle Machine is at once an elegy and a celebration, tick-tock of the tao.”
—C.M. Mayo, judge and author of Meteor