Book Added Go to checkout. x

A Family Behind Glass

by Matthew Hedley Stoppard

'I have signed my tenancy with manhood ... but I’ll ribbet before I croak.'

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


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 Otley 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 2013, and was included in the Guardian's Readers' Books of the Year. His next publication was Cinema Stories (2015), a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet James Nash, celebrating the movie theatres of Leeds, past and present.

His second solo collection, The Garland King, was published in November 2020.


Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2013-05-15

ISBN: 9781908853202

Catalogue Number: VP0044

Number of Pages: 48

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover photograph by Victoria Smith

Be part of our story. Join the Valley Press newsletter.