Matthew Hedley Stoppard
Matthew Hedley Stoppard was born in Derbyshire in 1985. After a brief career as a journalist, he now works as a librarian, and lives in Leeds with his wife and two sons.
Recordings of Matthew’s poetry include Insect Eucharist and Other Poems (2012) and the spoken-word album Runt County (2014), both available from Adult Teeth Recordings. On the page, his poetry has appeared in Magma, Iota, Cake, The Morning Star, A Complicated Way of Being Ignored (Grist, 2012) and Holding Your Hand Through Hard Times (Osset Originals, 2014).
Matthew's debut collection of poetry, A Family Behind Glass, was published by Valley Press in May 2013, and was included in the Guardian's Readers' Books of the Year. His next publication was Cinema Stories, a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet James Nash. Launched at the Leeds International Film Festival in November 2015, this collection celebrates the cinematic heritage of Leeds, and the experience of cinema-going in general.
Before the Second World War, there were around seventy cinemas operating in Leeds. Now, though some remain open, most of these ‘forgotten temples’ have been repurposed or demolished.
Since 2014, Leeds-based poets James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard have been visiting the sites of legendary picture-houses, and documenting their current status with two inimitable, unmistakable poetic voices – whilst also considering the remarkable shared (yet personal) experience that is cinema-going.
So sit down on a spring-loaded chair, grab some popcorn, and enjoy one of the most original, evocative poetry collections since the invention of technicolour...
Praise for the authors:
“James Nash illuminates, wonderfully, the small details and the large issues of life, love and language. [He writes] magical and memorable poems: poignant yet rich with humour, and underpinned, above all, by a great humanity.”
— Sarah Waters
“Matthew Hedley Stoppard uses inventive language and striking imagery ... [he has written] one of the most arresting poetry collections of the year.”
— The Guardian
A Family Behind Glass is the first collection of poetry by Matthew Hedley Stoppard, painting a vivid picture of a 1990s childhood (complete with miniature waistcoats and rusting swing-sets), then taking us through to the present-day realities of the poet's life as a father to his own family.
With a particularly English literary sensibility, every line crackles with half-forgotten but instantly recognisable characters, images and locations, somehow evoking a nostalgia for the here-and-now - and everything that is 'behind glass', just beyond our reach.
“Uses inventive language and striking imagery ... one of the most arresting poetry collections of the year.”
— John Irving Clarke, The Guardian
“Matthew Hedley Stoppard's poetic voice is truly original and always compelling … He weaves the everyday into wonderfully unravelling works of art. Rarely is humour deployed to tell so much truth.”
— James Nash
“Inventive, acutely observed and often searingly comic ... his subjects are described with a linguistic brio of fizzing lines and images. Buy the collection immediately.”
— Mike Di Placido
Be part of our story. Join the Valley Press newsletter.