Your Attraction to Sharp Machines

Your Attraction to Sharp Machines is perhaps best described as a novella written in verse. Mahaney develops complex characters through each of the novella’s three distinct sections, exploring their relationships and psyches through form and song-like imagery. The book itself demands attention and engagement, and readers soon will find themselves pulled into Elizabeth’s life in unexpected ways.

Matthew Mahaney was born in 1980. He currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, though he returns to Madison, Wisconsin often. Your Attraction to Sharp Machines is his first book.


53 pgs.
Hardcover, 6.25″ x 7″
Bound by hand
ISBN: 978-0-9843678-8-7
First Printing: 75 copies, numbered





“At the heart of Matthew Mahaney’s striking novella-in-verse Your Attraction to Sharp Machines is Elizabeth, a figure part sister, part lover, part hum and part storm. Words encircle her but cannot catch her, cannot shape or define her. She is a second skin, a face scratched into dirt. She is a girl constructing nests in which poems can be born. In these poems, knowing Elizabeth means living on that threshold between sound and music, that moment “when breath solidifies into words.” “There is an orchestra warming up in my lungs,” Mahaney writes. “If we stay still long enough we can tune our voices to their sound.” The song this novella sings is a beautiful one.”

-Claire Hero, author of Sing, Mongrel and the chapbooks Dollyland, afterpastures and Cabinet.