Once referred to as “an angry middle finger to poetry purists”, Mat has mellowed in the last couple of years but he is still a staunch supporter of taking poetry to the unconverted. An avid writer from a young age, Mat was inspired by his early love of rap music, but it wasn’t until a local open mic night in 2005 that he first took to the stage as a Performance Poet. Frustrated at the misconception that poetry was the preserve of the pretentious and arrogant, he moved his performances to London. With an easy and accessible style he quickly established himself.
Having performed in venues the length and breadth of the country, Mat’s hard work and determination has won an unconventional audience, appreciative of his anarchic approach to poetry, an approach which helped him to win Nathan Penlington’s ‘Poetry Idol’, and progress to the final of the Hammer and Tongues national Slam Competition.
Appearing in film festivals and educational programs from Canada to Russia, Mat’s video work reaches a global audience. His first video poem ‘Suicide Note: Bank Manager Lament’ was adopted by the UK’s Consumer Action Group, and “Blokes,” his first collaboration with Illustrator Matt Frodsham, won the Best Film prize at the ShortCuts Film Festival, going on to be used by the Charity CALM. Their second collaboration received an ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ on VIMEO, and was featured in magazines throughout Europe and the US finally ending up on the shortlist for a ‘Left Field Award.’ Mat’s latest video, a joint piece with cinematographer Marc Webb titled “This City” has led him to work with composer Stuart Hancock on a project for the prestigious Barbican theatre.
Mat’s unique and exciting poetic style has given him the chance to work with a number of educational authorities who use his poems both in the UK and further afield. Programs like TrueTube, an award-winning website for schools that provides videos, lesson plans & assembly scripts for RE, PSHE and Citizenship at Key Stages 3/4 use Mat to captive young people with his poetry and videos.
His proudest moments have been to perform alongside such talented artists as; Scroobius Pip, TV Smith, Laura Marling, 9 Ton Peanut Smugglers, Jude Simpson, Luck Wright and Laura Dockrill to name but a few.A long term member of the Lazy Gramophone Collective, Mat will be featured in their latest book “The Time Project” due for release in May and he is also a member of RRRANT’s having donated work and copies of his own book to their ‘Bard Aid’ efforts, with the hope to get more left-field poetry into schools to inspire the next generation of writers and poets.Mat’s second collection ‘Extended Play’ is due out later this year. As well as continuing to write, he is the ‘Team Manager’ for Discipline Skateboards and is currently lurking somewhere in the south. Words by Ed Bowen