Praise and Poems
In my capacity as poetry editor of the Oxford Magazine, I have published several poems by Steven Matthews over recent years — in fact at every opportunity. They have a highly distinctive quality to them, a compound of clarity of intelligence and unerring verbal skill and accuracy. The appearance of Skying is an exciting and significant event in contemporary poetry.
Steven Matthews’s first collection, Skying, strikes a profoundly English lyric note. Its considered music is unafraid of detail, simplicity or those quietly realist narratives whose fragmentary presence sometimes suggest a book of ghosts. Matthews’s sense of history, landscape and indeed the eponymous East Anglian sky is fine-tuned, and this allows him to explore themes of continuity — which spill over to characterize his poems’ very diction.