Matt Howard is a truly absorbing poet. His poetry is insistent and intense, yet written with a gentle touch that draws the reader in to a world deﬁned by nature. The highly charged sequence The House of Owls demonstrates this to great effect. There is an echo of tradition throughout his work, but this acknowledgement to the past is countered by a contemporary vitality.
Matt Howard lives in Norwich where he works for the RSPB. He is on the Advisory Board of The Rialto and with Michael Mackmin, is co-founder of the RSPB & The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition. Since 2007 he has been on the committee of Café Writers in Norwich. He is also part of New Networks for Nature, an eco- organisation that asserts the importance of landscape and nature in British cultural life. This is his debut pamphlet.
I’m delighted to see Matt Howard’s poems brought together in this pamphlet. His individual poems are intricate and contemplative explorations of corporeality, of bodies in a threatened world. His particular fascination with real and mythic birds produces some of the stand-out poems here. But it’s the cumulative power of this quiet voice that makes this such a ﬁne debut. – MICHAEL SYMMONS ROBERTS