Matt Merritt was a slow starter where poetry is concerned. He liked it at school, enough to fill several exercise books with terrible teenage verse, and coming face to face with the Anglo-Saxons (and, thanks to an undiscriminating library search computer, Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns) at Newcastle University helped too. Giving up in frustration every six months or so didn't.
He did retain a habit of writing song lyrics for bands that didn’t exist, though, and in the mid-90s started reading some of the poets who turned up on Mark Radcliffe's Radio One show. This time his poetry obsession finally built up enough critical mass for him to start taking things a bit more seriously, and he started submitting work to magazines and to an online workshop, The Pennine Poetry Works. He won the 2004 Plough Prize, and HappenStance published his chapbook Making The Most Of The Light in 2005.
History looms quite large in his poetry, as do birds (he works as features editor at Bird Watching Magazine).
Making the Most of the Light, HappenStance, 2005
Troy Town, Arrowhead Press, 2008.
Hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica, Nine Arches Press, 2010
Reviewed on Rogue Strands.