Collecting the Data | Mat Riches
Mat Riches offers a rare treat in this debut collection. In a voice that’s variously wry, thoughtful, witty and tender, he explores a variety of relationships. Prepare to meet his family, but also his tomato plants, a weather balloon, a troublesome supertanker, a fisherman’s pond and the Arecibo Telescope. At one point, he finds himself with his head “wedged in the freezer”. This is—yes—funny, but this poet is not just out for laughs. He writes from an unusual angle and it’s deliberate. Expect the unexpected.
‘Mat Riches is a specialist in the humorous use of the serious and the serious use of the humorous, channelled through a playful but yoked relish for language.’
‘These poems show us love, with all its limits, hopes and regrets, its crucial specificities of Sunblest, the Wim Hof Method and buttered dogs. They’re heartfelt but not saccharine, often funny but never cynical. Most importantly, they ring true, like the birdsong from the poem “A Foley Artist Works from Home”: “only ever birds / being themselves”.’
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