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Squid Squad

A Novel

Matthew Welton

Cover of Squid Squad by Matthew Welton
RRP: GBP 8.79
Available from: Amazon LogoBuy now from Amazon
eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 784109 37 0
Categories: 21st Century, British, Humour, Language
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: April 2020
112 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • In Squid Squad: A Novel we join Natalie Chatterley, Angus Mingus, Nerys Harris and friends as they make recordings of the doorbell, uncrumple their cash and fling their walnuts from the window. They contemplate the spaces between the spaces between things and compare the rhythm of rhetoric to the rhetoric of rhythm, while around them chickens feed on chestnuts, nuthatches nest in bicycle baskets, and budgerigars sulk themselves to sleep.

    The second half features shorter stand-alone poems. Here, poetic form is given a playful reworking: a poem to be spoken in a single breath, a poem made entirely of questions, a series of three poems in the form of university mark schemes, and poems that explore the possibilities of the list as a verse form.
    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 ... read more
    '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

    '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

    'Welton's tuning-fork sentences make small things sing with precise beauty'
    Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times
    Praise for Matthew Welton '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
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