Matthew Hollis

Matthew Hollis was born in Norwich in 1971. The Boy on the Edge of Happiness (Smith/Doorstop, 1996) was his first pamphlet.

Ground Water (Bloodaxe, 2004) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread Prize for Poetry and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He is co-editor of Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry (Bloodaxe, 2000) and 101 Poems Against War (Faber, 2003), and editor of Selected Poems of Edward Thomas (Faber, 2011). Now All Roads Lead to France: the Last Years of Edward Thomas (Faber, 2011; Norton, 2012) won the Costa Biography Award and the H. W. Fisher Biography Prize and was Sunday Times Biography of the Year.

 

Photo credit (c) Claire McNamee


Reviews

 

‘Hollis writes a knowing, lyrical poetry set against a landscape of big skies and battened-down horizons. He combines worldly wisdom with more detailed, vernacular understanding to produce poems that speak with a sense of purpose and place.’

— Simon Armitage


'His first collection, from Smith/Doorstop Books, is about as good as you are likely to get from a new poet. It is intelligent, unpretentious, sometimes funny, and leaves a good taste in the mouth. There is no fashionable laddish giggling or sneering, just a sharp wit, critical or compassionate as need be.' — Books in Scotland


CAT'S LIVES

 

‘I’m just stepping out to get the cat in.’
She didn’t in fact return for a week 
spent on the back of someone else’s motorbike.
Suspicious, I admit, if only for the reason
that I don’t have a cat — and strange how
I can always tell when she’s going;
her lights fade like a battery lamp or a dynamo
slowing at a junction. I realise now 
I blunder her borders, the space I know
to be hers; and eventually she comes back to find me
in a cold bath, or in front of the tele
by the flowers that drooped a week ago.
And just in case you’re any in doubt, 
I have a cat now. It comes in, it goes out.

Titles by this author

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