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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.

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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…

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 …