Matthew M. C. Smith - Writer

Matthew M. C. Smith is a 'Best of the Net'-nominated Welsh writer from Swansea. 

He published Origin: 21 Poems in 2018 and is working on a second collection of poetry. He studied for a PhD on the subject of Robert Graves and Wales at Swansea University, completing this in 2006. 

Matthew writes about landscape, place, history, identities, family and cosmology. His 'Best of the Net' nomination in 2020 was for 'Teithio: Journeys', a hybrid prose and poetry piece published by Icefloe Press.

Matthew is also the editor of Black Bough poetry, a project created to promote imagist micropoetry in 2019. Several Black Bough poetry anthologies have been top ten in the Amazon Poetry chart, including at no. 1 and 2. He is the originator and organiser of #TopTweetTuesday on Twitter.

Matthew had a feature spot with Gaynor Kane at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival in August 2021. He is active on the Open Mic scene in Swansea and enjoys running, trekking, family activities and visiting neolithic and ancient sites. He is one half of the Dylan Thomas Birthplace podcast with Iqbal Malik and was one of the judges of the Swansea Fringe Festival in 2021.

Selected Publications

Origin: 21 Poems - poetry collection 

‘Henrhyd Falls’ – won the RS Thomas prize for best poem at Gwyl Cybi in 2018. Since published in Seventh Quarry Press, 2020.

Seventh Quarry Press - ‘What Remains’ (poem)– 2018.

Seventh Quarry Press, ‘Revelations’ (poem) - 2018.

Seventh Quarry Press, ‘Eagle’ (poem) - 2018.

Seventh Quarry Press, ‘In a Tomb, Wishes Rising’ (poem) -  2018.

Panning for Poems - 'Vision' (poem) - Issue 11, 2019.

Fevers of the Mind: Grief Issue -  'Footprints' (poem) - 2019.

Wales Haiku Journal - haiku - 2019.

Wellington Street Review - 'Eagle at Beinn Mhòr'(poem) - 2019.

Anti-Heroin Chic - Dying King (poem) - Autumn 2019.

Re-Side Press –  'The Duke' (poem) - first edition

                            'A Winter Fever' (poem) winter edition 2019.


Back Story  - 'Eden' (poem) - December 2019 edition.

Other Terrain - 'The Soft Fall of Midnight' (poem) - Dec 2019.

Other Terrain - ‘The King’s Exile’ –  Dec 2019.

Icefloe Press - Teithio (Journeys) (prose, poetry and photos) Feb 2020. (Best of the Net nominated)

Fly on the Wall Press: Identity edition - 'Redemption' (poem) March 2020.

Broken Spine Arts Collective: inaugural book - 'War Fields' (poem) - March 2020.

Headline Poets - 'Poplar Close' (poem) - April 2020.

Barren Magazine - 'Abba Father' prose poem - June 2020.

Finished Creatures - Issue 3 'Balance'

                  'Towards Night: The Space Station' (poem) - June 2020.

Failure Baler - Issue 4

'Sunday Morning (East Dulwich)' and 'Gaia' (poems) - Dec '20. 

The Bangor Literary Journal - Dec '20

'The Blue Hour'

The Lonely Crowd - 5th anniversary edition. 

'Through Fire and Ice: the man of Paviland Cave' (poem) - Dec '20.

Anti-Heroin Chic - February 2021 edition

Three poems: 

Periwinkle Magazine - 'First Snow' edition. March 2021.

'First Snow' (poetic prose)

Green Ink Press 'Discovery' edition. June 2021.

'Sea Ballet' (poem)

Black Bough Poetry - 'Dark Confessions' edition. June 2021.

'Bitter Fruit', 'Prisoner of Skies', 'Beauty' (poems)

Black Bough Poetry - 'Freedom-rapture' edition. July 2021.

'Kingdom' and 'Origin' 

Green Ink Press -  'Roots' edition. Oct 2021.

'Their Gift' 

Black Bough Poetry - Christmas & Winter edition (vol. 2), 2021/22.

'Beacons' and 'Visitation' poems.

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"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. Refreshing."

Patrick Jones

"The 21 poems in Origin exist in spaces where both the reality of human frailty and the possibility of the metaphysical are experienced. These poems dye the snow with ink and turn fire into frost. Origin meets the reader with a deathless stare, delivering feelings of affirmation and of sorrow"

Kate North

"In a 'calamity of sound', Origin grapples with the strange nuances of humanity. In the shadow of the green man and his 'deathless stare', these poems are concerned with family, the inevitability of loss and our propensity to violence. Matthew M. C. Smith's poetry elevates real events to ethereal landscapes - where cars crawl through a galaxy of stars and oak trees mock the fleeting nature of human existence"

Mari Ellis Dunning


You can hear Matthew read three poems on iambapoet

Poems also recorded on Soundcloud

Matthew appeared on the Eat the Storms podcasts reading poems from 'Deep Time' and Christmas-themed ones.

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"In the first line of this tenderly wrought collection, Matthew M. C. Smith carries us out of the ordinary into his spectral spaces. Adrift on the masterful music and spellbinding imagery of his verse,he summons us to witness his story -to weather his loves, losses, hauntings, "caught in his tide of time" "and in crackle and smoke" - mist-lit against the myth-steeped landscape of his beloved Wales"

Anne Casey

Interviews/ features

August 2020: interviewed by Colin Bancroft of Poets Directory:

March 2020: Interview with Colin Dardis- Fill your books

February 2020: interview with Paul Brookes (Wombwell) 

'Nov 2020: 'A Dozen Questions: an interview with Joe Cushnan

Interview in Fevers of the Mind 2021.

August 2021: Broken Spine Arts interview

"Equal parts celebration, rumination, prophesy, and chronicle, Matthew M C Smith’s Origin delivers a world glistening with wonder, pulse, and mystery. These poems roam history and space, home and forest, heart and mind. Line by line, the immediacy of Smith’s recognition, the speed with which fundamental truths are rendered whole in these poems—it takes the breath from your lungs. In the span of a few syllables, this is a poet who can illustrate the entire arc of parenthood: from being the story of a child’s life, to being forgotten in the heat of play, to being the shoulder to rest upon when the world has been too much. And no matter how far afield these poems take you, they are always anchored in truth and accuracy, and an underlying faith that the day will end as it should, not as it must, that no matter what happens, “the people you love / carry you from the shore.”

Jack B. Bedell, Poet Laureate, State of Louisiana, 2017-2019, author of No Brother, This Storm