The Exiles

Publication date: March 2013
49 pages, 5.3” x 7"
Read Press Release (PDF)


The basement is walls of boxes floor to ceiling, dust, and spiders. His eyes adjust to the darkness, but it is still dark. He finds a path and walks slowly. When he finds his dad, he is sleeping on the floor on a pile of hay and rough blankets. Dad’s skin is covered in fur and clumps of lichen. He pulls the moss from his face; it sticks like it’s attached with glue. It is as if he is molting, the moss pulling from him like clumps of shedding skin.


"This small, frozen, frightening world, this gapped, intense, ferocious world, this world of tremors, of shiverings, of longings stripped bare and desires reclothed, this world of muted visions and vivid nightmares, of terrible tenderness, this world of exile, The Exiles, by Matthew Kirkpatrick, this strange and powerful work, this world."

 Laird Hunt


Matthew Kirkpatrick is the author of Light without Heat (FC2) and is an assistant professor of English at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

Cover illustration by Bill Dunlap whose work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad.

Book design by Scott Massey.

Review in The Ampersand Review

Review in The Collagist



  • Gold Line Press | Ricochet
  • USC PhD Creative Writing & Literature
  • 3501 Trousdale Pkwy, THH 431
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354