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'We Needed Coffee But...' (Poetry Book Society Recommendation) [Paperback]

Matthew Welton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

28 July 2009 Poetry Book Society Recommendation
'We needed coffee but we'd got ourselves convinced that the later we left it the better it would taste, and, as the country grew flatter and the roads became quiet and dusk began to colour the sky, you could guess from the way we returned the radio and unfolded the map or commented on the view that the tang of determination had overtaken our thoughts, and when, fidgety and untalkative but almost home, we drew up outside the all-night restaurant, it felt like we might just stay in the car, listening to the engine and the gentle sound of the wind'. From its title, which runs to 101 words in full, to its wordless concrete poems; from its World Cup fixture list to its transformations of four-letter words, "We needed coffee but..." is audacious, mischievous, even outrageous. As in his award-winning first collection "The Book of Matthew", the poet attends precisely to each detail: the rhythms are musical but unexpected; the brightness control on imagery is turned up high. New in this book is the emphasis on collaboration. Some of this work began in text pieces for art exhibitions or as song-cycle lyrics. Other poems respond to the influences of Gertrude Stein, Raymond Queneau, Inger Christensen, dom silvester houedard, Yoko Ono and Gyorgy Ligeti. Matthew Welton turns rigorous control into a dancing display of wit: we become his collaborators in the shared delight that inventive poetry can contrive.

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'We Needed Coffee But...' (Poetry Book Society Recommendation) + The Book of Matthew
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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd (28 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847770029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847770028
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'a poet who has consistently (but slowly) produced some stunningly beautiful work.' - the Observer 'It arrives with a unique and distinct sensibility; his poems create their own evocative and elusive worlds. There is a kind of relaxed quizzical sensuality running throughout, an easy, compelling confidence.' - Guardian 'I think this is the first poetry book I've recommended, but it's just stunning and deserves far wider recognition. While there's a playfulness and a lightness of touch to the writing it also left me feeling that every single word was in exactly the right place. Beautiful. - Dave Gorman --Observer

About the Author

Matthew Welton was born in Nottingham in 1969 and lives in Manchester.His poetry has appeared in the anthologies First Pressings (Faber) and New Poetries II (Carcanet). He received the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for The Book of Matthew (Carcanet, 2003), which was a Guardian Book of the Year. He was a Hawthornden Fellow in 2004. Matthew collaborates regularly with the composer Larry Goves, with whom he was awarded a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship in 2008. He lectures in creative writing at the University of Bolton.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welton astounds and makes new 4 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This collection of poetry manages to offer something quite unique with each turn of the page. Whether you read poetry or not, this is an example of how contemporary poetry can be affecting and new.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Fall in love with language and form... 26 Jun 2012
By Dr Winston - Published on Amazon.com
Matthew Welton's second collection may well be a contender for the longest book title ever but fortunately his use of language is no gimmick, following on from the excellent 'Book of Matthew', 'We Needed Coffee But...' is a collection of Matthew's writing since then rather than his second book proper but you wouldn't know it. He has a style that is engaging and makes you fall in love with language and form. If you read modern poetry you need to know about Matthew, if you don't this is the place to start.
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