Skip to main content

Matter Launch

Matter magazine, published out of the MA Writing course at Sheffield Hallam University, is now in its tenth year and, to celebrate, this year's issue - just published - has a burnt gold cover. As ever, it's a stunning object to hold in hand and, like the best literature mags, combines quality production with excellent writing.

I've only dipped into the issue myself, having recently received a copy, but have already been struck by the guest contributions - from the likes of Daljit Nagra and Iain Sinclair - and the strength of writing from MA students included. (Jamie Coward's 'The Coxcomb' is a nifty little poem in particular; curious, amusing, subtly musical.) As in previous years, the issue points to Sheffield Hallam's ever-growing reputation as a place that nurtures some of the best new writers: Katharine Towers, Marina Lewycka, Tony Williams and Frances Leviston, to name but a few successful alumni.

Should you fancy getting hold of a copy of this year's issue, then, you'll find it on sale from the Matter website, as well as in Sheffield bookshops. And there's a couple of events tied in with it too, where contributors to the issue will read from their work and copies will be on sale. The first is the launch proper, at the Sheffield Hallam Blackwell's branch on Wednesday 13th October, from 7.15pm. Refreshments will be provided. There's also an event at the Riverside in Sheffield on the 21st October at 7pm. This will feature many of the same readers, but they'll be reading more of their work. I'm also told that the London launch is on 4th November at London Review Bookshop from 7pm.

You can find out more about these events, among other things, on the Matter website.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Trouble with Poetry: Billy Collins's Aimless Love - review

Dubbed the “most popular poet in America” by the New York Times, Billy Collins has won countless admirers for his chatty, witty, wholly dependable poetry. At pains to welcome the reader with avuncular charm, he writes lines that are more serious than they seem, though by how much, you’d be hard pressed to say. Wry and self-mocking, his favoured territory is the suburban everyday – a pop song stuck in your head; people-watching on public transport; a “perfect” spring day – though he is most at home striking a knowing and self-referential pose, “looking every inch the writer / right down to the little writer’s frown on my face”. ‘If This Were a Job I’d be Fired’, quips the title of one poem, its narrator swanning off having penned the most inconsequential of verses. Philip Larkin would have surely labelled him the “shit in the shuttered chateau”. But while some critics have called Collins a philistine, there is a productive quirkiness to his poems, finding surprise and profundity in unp…

Way More Than Luck (Seren Books, 2018)

From the thumping heartbeat of the distance runner to the roar of football terraces across the decades, Ben Wilkinson’s debut confronts the struggles and passions that come to shape a life. Beginning with an interrogation of experiences of clinical depression and the redemptive power of art and running, the collection centres on a series of vivid character portraits, giving life to some of football's legends. By turns frank, comic, sinister and meditative – ‘the trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head’ – these poems uncover the beautiful game’s magic and absurdity, hopes and disappointments, as striking metaphors for our everyday dramas. Elsewhere there are tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds, in an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue. All are united by a desire to speak with searching clarity about matters of the heart. Way More …

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…