Beverly Matherne

Internationally Acclaimed Poet


Beverly Matherne, born in River Cajun Country just west of New Orleans, grew up with the rich oral literature and music of the area: Cajun, country western, blues, and jazz. From writing in French to performing blues poetry, these influences have shaped her work.

She is the author of six bilingual books consisting of free verse, prose poetry, lyrical stories, and blues poems, the latter in book and CD formats with fiddle and slide guitar accompaniment. Her newest title, Bayou des Acadiens / Blind River, an orchestrated hybrid in part poetry and part prose, is from Éditions Perce-Neige, 2015. Also a professional literary translator, she has translated poetry by two-time US Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz into French and poetry by Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud into English.

Beverly has published widely in magazines, reviews, and anthologies in both English and French. Her latest publication appears in the anthology titled Far Out: Poems of the ‘60s, published by Wings Press, 2016. She has won seven first place prizes in poetry, including the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry, and has done over 300 readings and performances in the US, Canada, France, and elsewhere in Europe.

Emeritus Professor of English at Northern Michigan University, she taught creative writing, directed the Master of Fine Arts Program in English, directed the Visiting Writers Series, and served as poetry editor of nationally acclaimed Passages North literary magazine.

Quite active in her retirement, she continues to write, to do readings, and to restore her lovely Victorian home, the Butler House, in Ishpeming, Michigan.