Matthew Welton

poems, poems, poems, poems, poems

New book published April 2020: Squid Squad

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. 

Here’s what I’m up to


Latest publication: Squid Squad – A Novel, new full-length book of poems from Carcanet, April 2020.

Next publication: Thomas A. Clark’s selected poems, The Threadbare Coat, which I have edited, is coming from Carcanet, November 2020.


Next reading: 22 June via Zoom for Five Leaves bookshop. With Rory Waterman. For bookings, please see link.


A number of the poems from Squid Squad have been published in these journals:

Manchester Review

Times Literary Supplement

Cordite Review

A little about me and my writing

With every poem I write I’m trying to make something immediate and gettable but which, at least to some extent, brings something new to the idea of what poetry might be.

In my first book, The Book of Matthew (2003), I was playing around with traditional techniques like rhyme and metre, trying to create a world of delight and joy. Around the time it came out, I began lecturing full-time in creative writing at the University of Bolton.

My next book, We needed coffee but… (2009), was perhaps more obviously experimental. Many of the poems were created in collaboration with musicians or artists. Around the time it was published I moved to Nottingham, the place I grew up, to set up the creative writing course at the University of Nottingham. I’m still there.

I called my third book The Number Poems (2016) because I figured it was about time I came clean about all the maths-ish patterns I was using in the structuring of the poems.

Squid Squad is influenced by fiction writers like Donald Barthelme, Lydia Davis and Richard Brautigan. I was also trying to borrow something of the Peanuts strip cartoons and the atmosphere of some of Hal Hartley’s films.

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