Two distinguished poets reveal their new collections
Poet and novelist Nick Laird and poet and biographer Matthew Hollis have recently published new collections. In Up Late Nick confronts questions of aloneness, friendship, and the push and pull of daily life. At the book’s heart lies a profound meditation on a father’s dying. In Earth House Matthew Hollis evokes the landscape, language and ecology of the isles of Britain and Ireland to explore how our most intimate moments have resonance in the wider cycle of life.
Nick Laird was born in County Tyrone in 1975. A poet, novelist, screenwriter, critic and former lawyer, his awards include the Betty Trask Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and a Guggenheim fellowship. Feel Free (2018) was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize and the Derek Walcott award. ‘Up Late’ the title poem from his latest collection Up Late (2023) won the Forward Prize for Best Poem. He is the Seamus Heaney Professor of Poetry at Queens’ University, Belfast.
Matthew Hollis was born in 1971 in Norwich, and now lives in London. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1999. He is co-editor of 101 Poems Against War (Faber, 2003) and Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry (Bloodaxe Books, 2000), and editor of the Selected Poems of Edward Thomas (Faber, 2011). He is Poetry Editor at Faber & Faber. After its shortlisting for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, his first full-length collection Ground Water (Bloodaxe Books, 2004) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award (the first time for a poetry book) and for the Whitbread Poetry Award. Ground Water was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His second book-length collection, Earth House, is published by Bloodaxe in 2023. His biography, Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas (Faber, 2011), won the Costa Biography Award, the H.W. Fisher Biography Award and a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction, and was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and Sunday Times Biography of the Year. His second “biography”, The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem, was published by Faber in 2022.