Geoffrey Mark Matthews was born in 1954 and brought up near Richmond in North Yorkshire. He studied art and design in Scarborough and Leeds and after graduating in 1977 engaged in performance art, group exhibitions and free-improvised music. He started writing poetry at this time and his early influences were Rainer Maria Rilke, Edwin Morgan, and the Mersey Sound poets. Encountering Zbigniew Herbert, Basil Bunting and Tom Pickard among others at the Ken Smith organized poetry festival at Leeds University in 1978 proved galvanizing and liberating. After moving to London in 1979, he attended the Kings College Poetry Readings run by Eric Mottram and was a reader in the early days of Subvoicive co-founded by Gilbert Adair and Patricia Farrell.
His first published poems appeared in The Echo Room, and others during the 1980s and early 90s in The Wide Skirt, Harry’s Hand, and Sunk Island Review. Geoff was a designer and curatorial assistant at the National Maritime Museum 1980-86, and a lecturer at University of Lincoln until 2014 when he left to return to full-time creative practice. He is a member of the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society, he contributes to the Lincoln Philosophy Forum and he is an occasional blogger for the Centre for Experimental Ontology under the tag Perennisperegrinator.
He lives and works in Lincoln, UK.
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You can find more information on Geoff and his work on his website:-
The poet reads ‘First and last words’ from the collection Imperfect Pearls which was published in 2019 by Sunk Island Publishing. The poem references the purported origin of writing: over 5000 years ago the Sumerians developed the first writing system to facilitate the keeping of accounts. Recorded at home on 9 December 2020 for the University Library, University of Lincoln.
a drummer boy
delighting in sunlight
beyond the reach of
people beyond reach
feet knees and tense torso
warn the king
a nobody is here
From the autobiographical poem ‘After Richmond’ (2019) part 1, lines 58-66