So, it occurred to me that Matthew has been publishing exemplar (and exemplary) poems by each of the poets that are appearing at Rogue Strands on the 28th November—have I mentioned that before?—but a bit like being the photographer who never gets to be in front of the camera, he’s not going to write about himself.
Therefore, I’m taking it upon myself to write a Rogue Strands-style intro for him.
I’ve been a fan of Matthew’s work since I stumbled across it on the Twitters at least four years ago. I was lucky enough to snap up the last copies of his two HappenStance pamphlets, Tasting Notes and Inventing Truth and to meet him (and his lovely wife, Marina) when they were over in London to launch his excellent first collection, The Knives of Villalejo. That meeting, and the pints that followed have basically led to this. I knew I should have stuck to water that evening!!!
I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the poems Matthew is working on towards his next collection and I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes. While he has always had a keen eye for developing small details about the immediate world into something that resonates at a much wider level (see almost any page in Knives for more details), he’s certainly moving on in terms of his work. Where Knives dealt a lot with family, his new work is building on different memories and truths.
Sadly, his beloved Aldershot FC didn’t manage the kind of win that leads to an eruption yesterday; a six-nil tonking at the hands of Dagenham & Redbridge saw to that, but the poem below does speak of one of life’s greatest joys – whatever the capacity of your club’s ground.
At the Far Post
Forget your novels, plays or films, the only remaining moment I can suspend my disbelief
is an overcast Saturday in March, stood among curses, coughs and scarves on a crumbling terrace,
as our winger hoists a deep cross, our striker buries his header and all of us erupt.
Yep, it’s back…almost a year to the day. It’s my enormous pleasure to be able to start talking about this properly, but after the success of last year’s event, Matthew Stewart and I are finally able to put on the second of these nights.
Hopefully, we can start picking up the pace a little bit now, although that is dependent on Matthew being able to get over from Spain. However, that’s an issue for another time.
For now, I want to concentrate on what an amazing line up of poets we’ve assembled.
Feast your mince pies on this lot:
How good is that list of people, even factoring me into it? That is a mix of poets to be proud of and all for the princely sum of £3 (or more if you want) that goes to help out the wonderful folks at The Trussell Trust.