Matthew Sweeney

My Life as a Painter

Matthew Sweeney

Publication Date : 12 Apr 2018

ISBN: 9781780374147

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Matthew Sweeney’s palette in My Life as a Painter – his twelfth collection – features a wild mix of birds and animals: lizards, snakes, rats, camels, donkeys, feral cats, dogs and owls. One dog transmits telepathic requests for the food he wants, and there’s a parrot who speaks as ambassador for the bird world. Sweeney’s canvas here is the transhuman: where boundaries between human and non-human can’t be fixed, dreams turn into torments, secrets stay hidden, strange communiqués remain unclear, and the natural weirdness of his native Donegal verges on the surreal.

There are poems ostensibly about art, artists and filmmaking which are as much portraits of the poet and the difficulties of writing poetry. Other poems offer oblique perspectives on religion, warfare, migration and displacement; or go off at a tangent to explore the imaginative possibilities of everything from Michigan’s Mullett Lake and the geysers of Iceland to rope-ladders, tin-mines, a giant blue cabbage and an old thrown-out Christmas tree.

‘There’s an exuberance about the fantastical imagery of Cork-based Matthew Sweeney that gives his work the kind of popular accessibility you don’t often find in a poet so accomplished and experienced.  Despite the fact that My Life as Painter is his 12th collection, he remains not only committed to taking his art to its highest form, but to ensuring his words still touch his readers.’ – Cork Evening Echo

‘Matthew Sweeney is a hugely talented poet and this is a richly imagined and rewarding collection in which he is writing at the height of his powers.’ – David Cooke, Manchester Review [on Inquisition Lane]


Matthew Sweeney reads from Horse Music

Matthew Sweeney introduces and reads six poems from Horse Music (2013): 'Horse Music', 'Fans', 'The Tunnel', 'Sunday Morning', 'The Slow Story of No' and 'Booty'. Neil Astley filmed Matthew Sweeney at his home in Cork in February 2012.


Matthew Sweeney reads from Inquisition Lane at Ledbury

Matthew Sweeney reads and introduces five poems from Inquisition Lane: ‘The Biggest Task’, The Insurance Agent’, ‘Into the Air’, ‘Elegy for the Moonman’ and ‘Inquistion Lane’. Filmed by Neil Astley, this video shows part of his reading following an interview with Maitreyabandhu at the Adisthana Retreat Centre, Coddington, part of Ledbury Poetry Festival on 6 July 2016.



BOOKS BY Matthew Sweeney

Horse Music

Matthew Sweeney

Horse Music

Publication Date : 21 Feb 2013
Inquisition Lane

Matthew Sweeney

Inquisition Lane

Publication Date : 22 Oct 2015

Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity

Matthew Sweeney Interviews

Matthew Sweeney Interviews

Another chance to hear Matthew Sweeney's 2016 interview on RTÉ Radio 1's The Poetry Programme

Read More  |  View All




View Larger Text