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Matthew Welton

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  • Matthew Welton's poems take a playful approach to language and often blur the boundaries between poetry and other forms, such as fiction, music and visual art.

    His three previous Carcanet books are: The Book of Matthew (2003), We needed coffee but we'd got ourselves convinced that the later we left it the better it would taste, and, as the country grew flatter and the roads became quiet and dusk began to colour the sky, you could guess from the way we retuned the radio or unfolded the map and commented on the view that the tang of determination had overtaken our thoughts, and when, fidgety and untalkative but almost home, we drew up outside the all-night restaurant, it felt like we might just stay in the car, listening to the engine and the gentle sound of the wind (2009) and The Number Poems (2016).

    Matthew Welton was born in Nottingham, lives in Nottingham, and teaches creative writing at the University of Nottingham.


    Author photo credit: Jack Tinney
    Praise for Matthew Welton 'Welton's tuning-fork sentences make small things sing with precise beauty'
    Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times
    'There's a melancholy undertow to his humour: taken together, these poems come to feel like glimpses into the Eleanor Rigby-ish private lives of all the lonely people, as they sit at home, playing with peanut shells, drawing on the walls, lost in tangled thoughts, doing nothing.'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
    'No book this year has brought me more joy.'

    Tristram Fane Saunders, Telegraph Poetry Books of the Year 2020 

    'A beautiful, exactly written piece of nonsense-noir'

    Keith Miller, TLS Books of the Year 2020

    'Through Welton's abundant assonance and alliteration, through the accents and rhythms of his syntax, sensations become linguistically tangible... Welton probes ordinary micro-phenomena to reveal the ineffable... Throughout Squid Squad, the reader is in the company of an acute observer and expert linguist turning his attention to his own use of language. Welton is without peer when it comes to putting slow motion perceptions into words'

    Nasser Hussain, Times Literary Supplement
    'Welton is a poet who resists the idea of a stable, complete, consumable poem, as his iterative patterns of poems (in a book that calls itself 'a novel') show - and certainly, both books are short on satisfaction, questioning in different ways what poetic satisfaction might be. The mimed actions, like unoriginal incorrect versions of ancient epigrams, seem to take us to the brink of textual meaning, again and again, and then leave us there, like cartoon coyotes, scrabbling in midair.'

    The Poetry Review

    '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
    '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.'
    Guardian
    '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
    '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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