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recent reviews:

"Vollmer uses his epitaphs to give us a convincing, compelling portrait of a man who remembers and forgets, who wrestles with cosmic questions and with the daily round of responsibilities, who brushes again and again against his mortality and the realization that even our children "someday (. . .} would not want us to sing our grandmother's songs someday they would want to be alone they would want us to go away and we would and we will and we will be missed, and then forgotten." - PANK

"Matthew Vollmer's newest book, inscriptions for headstones, is the kind of book that refreshingly resists categorization. Essays, fiction, poems. The thirty short texts, each a single sentence, each composed as an epitaph, are all of the above. Inscriptions is a book that burrows deeply. It is at turns hilarious, heartbreaking, strange, and profoundly moving." - Hobart

"In a string of largely unpunctuated sentences, opening as if already begun and ending without any marker to close them off (though they do build, and their narratives do reach a sort of resonant resolution), Matthew Vollmer has built a beautiful elegy for the everyday, at times sad, at times funny, but thoroughly and ceaselessly rhythmic."
- Diagram

"Consider the obituary. The single sentence. The epitaph, which has to hold the whole of a person, and is a one-time affair. There are no second epitaphs, and that's one rule that Vollmer breaks. Or maybe he just bends it. Is church-camp Matthew Vollmer the same Matthew Vollmer that whiles away the hours in his writing room, devouring animated GIFs instead of writing epitaphs? Is melodramatic bath-taking Matthew Vollmer the same Matthew Vollmer that records the trials and tribulations of parenthood? If the answer is "no," "maybe," or "kind of," then perhaps this is a rule bent and not broken. In this context thirty epitaphs might be permissible, if not entirely 'fair.'" - The Lit Pub

"Vollmer's writing is my new favorite example of what it must be like to see a life flash before your eyes." - Fiction Advocate

"A sort of wonderful machine that's built here, a transmutation: a shoplifting child made me consider free will; a basketball game made me think about what links and un-links us as humans; taking a walk made me think about self-destructive tendencies; taking a kid to a library made me think about selfishness; teaching a college class made me think about the permanent stain of regret. Each piece made me set the book down for a minute and contemplate. That's pretty impressive." - HTML Giant

"A courageous, honest, and decidedly non-angelic dissection of the instants, both mundane and macrocosmic, that shape a man, and the malaise that tears him to the core." - The Collagist

"For me inscriptions for headstones was the best kind of book- a book that I could step into and out of quickly, a book with no space wasted and a book which made me wish that I had written it." - ARDOR

"Vollmer is in good authorial company in exploring death. Despite all the writings that have come before his, Vollmer manages to find his own way into the weighty subject." - TriQuarterly

". . .the tone of the inscriptions is elegiac and poetic and punctuated by occasional social commentary, and the trope of relating a story and calling the protagonist the deceased throughout highlights one's own sense of the ending for which we are all headed and causes one to wonder, what is our defining incident, sometimes merely a quirk of personality, that drives our lives and is there still time, now, to change it. . ." - ForeWord Reviews

inscriptions for headstones
by Matthew Vollmer
160 pages
$12.00 paperback ISBN 9781937402372
$9.99 ebook ISBN 9781937402389

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On sale at Outpost19 Shop

Cover photo and design by Brandon Buckner.

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