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The Book of Matthew
ISBN: 978 1 857546 43 9
Categories: 21st Century, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2003
216 x 135 x 10 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
A Mr Macaroni stops his Ford
two streets away and lets the engine flood,
the radio just loud enough to hear,
one crate of pippin-apples, one of beer.
from 'The wonderment of fundament'
WINNER OF THE 2003 JERWOOD ALDEBURGH FIRST COLLECTION PRIZE
Matthew Welton makes tunes out of words. Using the sounds and structures of language, he finds new understandings of what poetic form can do. He refuses to be constrained by convention. The title poem borrows its structure from Roget's Thesaurus to spin thirty-nine variations on sounds, images and rhythms, creating a puzzling, dazzling kaleidoscope of effects. The Book of Matthew is playful, witty and irresistibly memorable, expanding the attentive reader's awareness of the fabric of poetry and the possibilities of language. These poems give delight by means of the shape of the lines on the page, the feel of the words on the tongue, and the subtle noises they plant in the ear.
'I'm also eagerly awaiting the publication of The Book Of Matthew by Matthew Welton but I'll have to wait until September. He's a poet who has consistently (but slowly) produced some stunningly beautiful work - but this is his first complete book.'
Dave Gorman, The Observer 'It arrives with a unique and distinct sensibility; his poems create their own evocative and elusive worlds. There is a kind of relaxed quizzical sensuality running throughout, an easy, compelling confidence.'
The Guardian Praise for Matthew Welton 'I think this is the first poetry book I've recommended, but it's just stunning and deserves far wider recognition. While there's a playfulness and a lightness of touch to the writing it also left me feeling that every single word was in exactly the right place. Beautiful.'
Dave Gorman 'It arrives with a unique and distinct sensibility; his poems create their own evocative and elusive worlds. There is a kind of relaxed quizzical sensuality running throughout, an easy, compelling confidence.'
'You're unlikely to read anything like it . . . poems are rarely so curious, precise and committed to their enquiry.'
Jack Underwood 'A poet who has consistently produced some stunningly beautiful work.'
Dave Gorman, the Observer
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