cliveinchairClive Matson is a lifelong poet and author of the acclaimed Let The Crazy Child Write!  A resident of Oakland, California, he traces his creative roots to the Beat scene in New York during the 1960s.  He has published nine volumes of poetry, and  in 2003 co-edited the award-winning anthology An Eye For An Eye Makes The Whole World Blind.

Clive has taught creative writing workshops since 1978, centered on his unique Crazy Child method, leading the East Bay Express to laud him as Best Writing Teacher In The East Bay in 2006.  He maintains a busy schedule, including classes through the UC Extension, writing retreats in Costa Rica and the Sierras, and monthly Crazy Child workshops for initiates and veterans alike.


Clive Matson (MFA Columbia University) fell in with Beat Generation writers in New York City in the early 1960s. He became immersed in the stream of passionate intensity that runs through us all and he has stopped trying to go anywhere else. He was drafted as Chalcedony’s (kal-SAID-‘n-ease) astonished scribe in 2004 and has written over 100 of her poems. Amazingly, his seventh book of poems, Squish Boots (2002) was placed in the coffin of John Wieners, his poetry mentor.

Clive writes from the itch in his body. This delights his students and that’s old hat, according to Let the Crazy Child Write! (1998), the text he uses in teaching. Today he spends his time on the sequel, Writing Your Way In. This is mainly stories from forty years of watching writers blossom with a vibrant intensity they find within themselves, a creative talent they’ve possessed all along.

Clive enjoys playing basketball, table tennis, and collecting minerals in the field. He lives in Oakland, California, where he helps bring up his teenage son, Ezra. The City of Berkeley awarded Clive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

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bookmontageClive Matson’s poetry has been praised by luminaries from Robert Bly (“important, open and delicate”) to Diane DiPrima (“powerful and tender… speak(s) directly to the heart”) and Susan Griffin (“delightful and penetrating… a revelation”). All volumes of his work are available either through Amazon or directly from the author, along with his life-changing guide to developing personal creativity, Let the Crazy Child Write!

Clive’s books:

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clive_w_PAC_diagramA vast stream of creative energy runs though us every moment.  Clive creates a positive, trusting environment in his workshops where we are empowered to engage our creative unconscious and express ourselves fully and fearlessly in our writing, whether stories, poems, plays, full-length fiction, memoir, or essays.

Clive has taught over 3,000 workshops to budding and experienced writers alike since 1979 and was named Best Writing Teacher in 2006 by the East Bay ExpressLet the Crazy Child Write!  (New World Library, 1998) grew out of his teaching and gives full honor to the creative unconscious.

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I love this man!
                         I love the skeletal push 
of his upper chest, how he moves
leaning forward pulled by a cord 
at cranium’s peak. He wrestles 
with the buzzing in his bones, pushing
at their edges and blunt ends.

I will soap his feet. I will wash his hair,
I will curl those strands around my fingers.
I will hold his face in my hands.

His soul reaches into my soul.
My soul reaches into his.
Meet his eyes and I meet his core.
I love how he explores 
the shores of our island.