Matthew M. C. Smith is a writer from Swansea, Wales. He completed a PhD on Robert Graves and Welsh Celticism at the University of Wales, Swansea in 2006. He has academic essays on Robert Graves published in The International Journal for Welsh writing in English.
Matthew is widely published with poetry and prose in Poetry Wales, The Lonely Crowd, Finished Creatures, Anti-Heroin Chic, Arachne Press, Atrium Poetry, Barren Magazine, Bold Magazine, Broken Spine Arts, Icefloe Press, Seventh Quarry, The Storms Journal, Fevers of the Mind, Bangor Literary Journal, Wales Haiku Journal, Green Ink, Twist in Time and Acropolis Journal.
Matthew won the R.S. Thomas award for poetry at the Gwyl Cybi festival in 2018 and has been nominated for ‘Best of the Net’ three times by Icefloe Press, Acropolis Journal and Broken Spine. He is the editor of Black Bough Poetry, the Silver Branch project and weekly online poetry platform TopTweetTuesday on Twitter.
He published Origin: 21 Poems in 2018. The Keeper of Aeons is his second collection.
About the Book
In The Keeper of Aeons Matthew M. C. Smith takes the reader through vast expanses of time and multiple realities. As readers, we move from a crouching position on the plane of the Rift Valley at an early stage in human evolution to a sterile museum exhibition of ancient skulls in a European city; we plunge, like a shaman, on a time-travelling journey back to a mesolithic human burial at Paviland Cave, Gower, and are stopped in our tracks before the Goddess stone at a bronze age burial mound in North Wales. These are poems of darkness, illumination and surreal flights of fancy: a supernatural masked ball of skulls and ghosts, the horror of the Mari Lwyd custom; being struck by awe-inspiring night skies; the potential for revelation in a church before stained glass. From caves to the International Space Station, from desert wastes to the Anthropocene city where the last survivor is part-machine, this moving collection reveals a Welsh poet in his ascendancy.
“Equal parts celebration, rumination, prophesy, and chronicle, Matthew M C Smith’s poetry delivers a world glistening with wonder, pulse, and mystery. These poems roam history and space, home and forest, heart and mind.”
– Jack B. Bedell, Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeaster Louisiana University; author of Against the Woods’ Dark Trunks, and Colour All Maps New
“Dreamlike and unsettling, this collection will take you on a whirlwind voyage to sacred and ancient sites, through mists of myth and into possible futures. Matthew M C Smith evokes haunting and cinematic experiences through his rich use of language and history.”
– Jane Lovell, author of The God of Lost Ways (Indigo Dreams Press)
“Smith’s writing is a kind of illumination – his imagery glows with an eerie, lean light that reveals us standing at the edges; of place, history, myth, nature, personhood, and time. The Keeper of Aeons unburies the found bone of our ancient origins, strikes it against the crystal skin of a truly vast universe, then deftly translates as multiple strange futures answer back. Smith challenges us to look deep to our roots, and then, always, to raise our eyes and be dizzied by our place in an ongoing, gleaming story: Anyway you turn is infinity / as light strikes the void. This book is a torch to navigate by, from first cave to final spacewalk.”
– Ankh Spice, author of The Water Engine (Femme Salvé Books), co-editor Ice Floe Press
“A brilliant effort – commensurate coup d’etat for a poet stretching fully upward towards the commandment of his craft, his art – all the while using his research and intelligence, to bring it to the world, to us, his readers, rather humbly, even as he sits atop the peak of his poetic powers.”
– Eli Horan, author of The Mask (The Broken Spine) and Just to the Right of the Stove (Twistit Press)
“Prepare to be moved and challenged by this important new voice. Less is defiantly more here. Nothing wasted. Taut, visceral, human. Where Heaney and Clarke meet. Read and feel. Then go out and notice”
– Patrick Jones, author of Fuse/Fracture (Poems 2001-2021) Selected Poems: 20th Anniversary Edition (Parthian)
“Matthew M. C. Smith’s writing “wrestles with the strange nuances of humanity. His poetry elevates real events to ethereal landscapes”
– Mari Ellis Dunning, author of Pearl and Bone, & Salacia (Parthian)