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Matthew Caley Author Portrait

Matthew Caley

‘…chief among British poets Caley takes seriously the vision of synesthetic abundance laid out in Mallarme’s essay ‘Crisis and Verse’…Caley is a great poet of transposition and vibration…at his very best, an offhand philosopher and bard of the demi-monde, gently blowing our minds.’

Dai George, Poetry Wales

Matthew Caley’s debut full-length collection, Thirst [Slow Dancer, 1999], was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Since then he has published 5 widely-acclaimed collections.

Matthew Caley’s poetry has featured in many anthologies including Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poetry [Bloodaxe Books, 2010]; Poems of The Decade [Forward Worldwide, 2011]; the Picador Book of Love Poems [Picador, 2011] Pestilence [Belfast Lapwing 2020], and Divining Dante [Recent Work Press, 2021]. Prophecy is Easy - a pamphlet of loose versions from 19th C French poets was published by Blueprint in 2021.


These days he is a mentor /tutor for The Poetry School, and has recently taught poetry/creative writing at the universities of St Andrews [twice], Winchester and Royal Holloway, London.

He’s read his work from StAnza in Fife – where he gave the StAnza Lecture 2020 and exhibited his collaborative Trawl video piece – to The Globe Theatre and The National Portrait Gallery, London; from Galway and the Czech Republic, to Novi Sad, Serbia; i.m of Lucien Freud, for the Vane Women of The North East, on train platforms and in a Mid Century Modern furniture store in Crystal Palace.

on Trawlerman’s Turquoise

‘…demonstrates the diffident confidence of a poet at the height of his powers, an extremely thought-provoking collection, with confluent continuous threads throughout that tease and pulsate, staying with me long after I had read it…a book worth buying and cherishing.’

Nicki Heinen, Tentacular

‘Matthew Caley’s sixth collection Trawlerman’s Turquoise is a steer through linguistic rapids – the effect is dizzying, and psychedelic. One is left with the sense that some new order has been made Caley’s intoxicated world the urban becomes urbane, lexicon turns lyrical.’

Cheryl Moskowitz, Magma Poetry

‘The humour and playfulness...shows off Caley's carefree ability to draw lines across time and space. It also feels profoundly European – a poetry in which borders do not exist, and we are all reflected in this multicultural, pan-historical vision.’

Chrissy Williams, Poetry London

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