Monday 30 October 2017

Kim Moore's Sunday Poem

Kim Moore's Sunday Poem is something of an institution on the U.K. poetry blogging scene. Every Sunday, she reports back on her week, ruminates on poetic issues of the day and then posts a piece by an invited poet alongside her comments on the poem in question. Via this feature, I've discovered a number of exciting new poets and/or been alerted to the publication of new publications that I just had to purchase. In other words, Kim's posts are great but can be dangerous for your wallet.

In the light of the above, I'm especially pleased to report that I'm this week's guest for Kim Moore's Sunday Poem with "Twenty Years Apart" from The Knives of Villalejo. You can read the poem, together with Kim's remarks on it, by following this link.

Monday 23 October 2017

John Field reviews The Knives of Villalejo

Two flights, four hotels and going on for 2,000 miles of driving later, I'm finally back in Extremadura from my readings in Nottingham, Cheltenham and Manchester last week. Suffice to say, they were a terrific experience, most of all down to the new and old friends that I met along the way.

What's more, I found a wonderful present awaiting me on my arrival in Spain. The pleasure was two-fold: not only has my favourite poetry blog made a hugely welcome return, but it's done so to feature my book. In other words, John Field has published an exceptional and exquisite review of The Knives of Villalejo on Poor Rude Lines. 

John's reviews are creative works in themselves and must require a lot of work. I'm thus especially grateful to him for taking the time and trouble to engage with my collection in such a way. As is the case with all top-notch reviewers, his generous words even provide me with new insights into my own poetry. I'm not going to do his writing a disservice by quoting it out of context. Instead, I suggest you read the whole piece for yourself by following this link.

Friday 13 October 2017

Nottingham, Cheltenham and Manchester

The Knives of Villalejo will be hitting the road again in the coming days, visiting Nottingham, Cheltenham and Manchester for three featured poet slots. Once again, I'm looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones.

On Tuesday 17th October I'll be reading at Wired Café in Nottingham as part of the Totally Wired reading series. The event starts at 6 p.m., finishing at 8 p.m.. There's also an open mic and entry is free.

On Wednesday 18th October, meanwhile, I'll be the guest poet at Poetry Café Refreshed in Cheltenham, which is held at Smokey Joe's. On this occasion, the event will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., admission is five pounds and there's an open mic scheduled too.

And my third date is in Manchester on Friday 20th October, when I'll be reading for Manky Poets at Chorlton Library from 7.45 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.. This time, admission will be two pounds and there'll be an open mic as well.

Here are the posters for Cheltenham and Manchester:

Monday 9 October 2017

Roy Marshall features The Knives of Villalejo

I'm delighted to report that Roy Marshall, whose own poetry I've long admired, is featuring The Knives of Villalejo on his blog as part of a longer article with all his recent news. Roy has posted one of the poems from my collection, titled "La Visita" and has some kind words to say about the piece in question, highlighting its "brevity, apparent simplicity and understated depth". You can read his post (plus the poem) in full by following this link.

Saturday 7 October 2017

Three readings in October

Following Leicester and Cambridge last month, The Knives of Villalejo will be travelling to Nottingham, Cheltenham and Manchester this October. I've got three guest poet slots lined up as follows: Totally Wired in Nottingham (on 17th October), Poetry Café Refreshed in Cheltenham (on 18th October) and Manky Poets in Manchester (on 20th October). More details in due course...

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Terrific review in The Frogmore Papers

Excellent news today: there's a terrific review of The Knives of Villalejo in the new issue (nº90) of The Frogmore Papers. Written by Clare Best, it begins as follows:

"Matthew Stewart’s first full collection has been twenty years in the making, and is the better for it. Things are distilled to their essence. Every word counts..."

In order to read the review in full, alongside new poems by the likes of Abegail Morley and Jonathan Edwards, you can get hold of a copy via the Frogmore website here.

Sunday 1 October 2017

A poet's dream

This afternoon, I know full well I should post about my terrific evening in Leicester on Monday, meeting lots of new and old friends such as Maria and Jonathan Taylor, Jane Commane, Roy Marshall, Rebecca Bird, Romalyn Ante and Jayne Stanton (apologies to anyone I've missed out!), all in the context of the chance to read as a guest poet at Shindig and allow the poems from The Knives of Villalejo to stretch their legs.

And I also know I should be thanking Trish Harewood for her generous hospitality, commitment to everything poetic and excellent introduction to my reading at CB Poetry in Cambridge on Tuesday: a lovely venue with more lovely people involved.

However, instead of all the above, I simply cannot resist the selfish temptation to flaunt the fulfilment of one of my dreams. Last Wednesday, while visiting Cambridge the day after my reading, I popped in to Heffers Bookshop, where I inevitably headed for the poetry section. A vain streak, almost certainly in vain, led me to run my eyes down to S for Stewart...and I couldn't believe it! Two copies of The Knives of Villalejo were there on the shelves!

I must have been making such a berk of myself that a member of staff soon approached me. On hearing my explanation that I'd never seen my collection in a bookshop before, he promptly asked me to sign both copies and he immediately placed them in a display at the entrance to the poetry section. Don't believe me? Well, I don't believe myself either, so here are the photos as everlasting proof: