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Matt Merritt’s second collection, Hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica, is alive with a rare frequency all of its own – it is a precise and rewarding music for the soul, the heart, and the head.
These are poems that take a distinctive route through landscapes rich with legend and wildlife, finding elegies written in the night sky on the way home from the pub, or quiet epics raging in the pages of memories and neglected histories. Matt Merritt has an ear for the exact notes, be they in a major or a minor key, and these gently insistent poems continue to resound long after their first reading.
"In Matt Merritt’s finely honed new collection, lives are lived in liminal spaces, shadow selves are reconstructing history and time is no time at all. These are quick-witted poems, made of toughened glass and ground-down clocks."
"Matt Merritt’s new book is a cracker – technically adventurous and thematically cohesive. His work is based on a close attention to the world and a scrupulous approach to getting that world into verse. His subject is landscape, the rural and urban landscapes of the Midlands, which he uses as a cipher to talk about personal and community life. We see the surfaces of the contemporary, but also the deep presence of the historical poking through – the planning of new towns and the persistence of floodplains. This is the psychogeography of modern Leicestershire. Reading these poems I felt my own consciousness calming and concentrating – which is as good a way as any of saying that they are beautiful."
Matt Merritt’s debut full collection, Troy Town, was published by Arrowhead Press in 2008, and a chapbook, Making The Most Of The Light, by HappenStance in 2005. He studied history at Newcastle University and counts Anglo-Saxon and medieval Welsh poetry among his influences, as well as the likes of R.S. Thomas, Ted Hughes and John Ash. He was born in Leicester and lives nearby, works as a wildlife journalist and is an editor of Poets On Fire.