Cazique is a book in three movements. ‘Officer’ / ‘Zipped File’ details the breakdown in communication between employee and employer. ‘Holodets’ tackles what is lost in translation during a love affair between an English poet and a Russian immigrant. The title sequence offers the last confessions of a washed-up confidence trickster: a man inspired by the 19th century swindler Gregor MacGregor – the self-titled Cazique of Poyais. The poems of Cazique continue the author’s engagement with personae and place – and the ever-unstable relationship between the two. Visit the Cazique microsite for for poems, essays and details of events.
Matthew Clegg’s second full-length collection explores the portals that connect time and place, and meditates on the element of water, as it moves through both. The book opens with rain falling in the Lake District, flowing to the South Yorkshire waterways, before arriving at the North Sea. The poems draw on the dynamic physical geography of Cumbria and the East Yorkshire coast and on the life (and afterlife) of the canals of Leeds and Mexborough. Versions of Apollonius, Aristophanes and Homer introduce an extra-temporal dimension, most apparent in the closing sequence of the collection, where these mythical, personal and historical threads are finally woven into one fugue-like movement. The Navigators is an affirmation of the reflection and regeneration that we find where waters meet and mingle; these literal and metaphorical thresholds offer both expedition and epiphany. See The Navigators microsite for poems, recordings and details of events.
Matthew Clegg’s first full-length collection is a book in three parts, each comprising a different approach to ideas of crisis, journey and imaginative crossing. Fugue (which includes poems from his earlier Nobody Sonnets) presents a journey from the periphery towards points off the map. Edgelands (revised from the earlier matchbox and pamphlet editions) maps a border territory, while Chinese Lanterns finds the Edgelands poet returning changed (or estranged) before preparing for a new departure. West North East is an impossible compass direction: a direction only manifest in an imagined or re-imagined world. See the West North East microsite for poems, recordings and details of events.
Edgelands is a sequence of poems adapted from the classical Japanese tanka form. On one level the sequence is about a man dealing with a painful separation by taking a series of walks into his locale – the edge of north Sheffield. On another, it is a work of what is now being called ‘psychogeography’. How do our built environments express elements of our consciousness or unconsciousness? How are we affected by the spaces we inhabit or move through? Edgelands is also a celebration of walking – of how the slow rhythm of walking is a way of deepening our being in the world. It is about how it opens us up to surprise.
2011. 36-page pamphlet comprising seven long poems. 40-minute CD includes the seven poems recorded on location in Leeds, 12 June 2010. Click here to listen to the first poem in the sequence. Click here to view a short film accompanying the second poem in the sequence.
Officer | SOLD OUT
2007. Limited edition hand-finished pamphlet with hand-stamped cover. Sequence of twelve sonnets. Click here to read ‘Think Positive’. A revised and expanded version of ‘Officer’ appears in Matthew Clegg’s third collection, Cazique; click here for more information (and to order the book).
2006 (revised 2008). CD comprises twelve sonnets (two sequences: Nobody Sonnets and Pups) recorded on location in Hillsborough, Sheffield in August 2008. Revised versions of all eight Nobody Sonnets appear in West North East. Listen to Watchers and Fishing by the trunk road.