I was born in New Malden, Surrey, in 1966 and read Philosophy at the University of Ulster. I live in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, but still work for a local authority children’s services provider based in south-west London.
I was shortlisted for the Poetry School / Pighog Press pamphlet competition in 2013, and my first collection of poems, The Evening Entertainment, was published by Eyewear Publishing in 2017. My poems have been published in (amongst others) 14, The Alchemy Spoon, British Life in Poetry, Butcher’s Dog, The High Window, The Honest Ulsterman, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Magma, The North, Nth Position, One Hand Clapping, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Rialto, The Wardrobe, Wild Court and The Best New British and Irish Poets for both 2016 and 2017. I was selected to be a participant on two consecutive Poetry Business Writing School programmes, and I regularly review poetry pamphlets for Sphinx.
I am also the author of two haiku collections – The Regulars (2006) and The Lammas Lands (2015) – and co-writer/editor (with John Barlow) of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (2008), all published by Snapshot Press. My haiku and senryu have been anthologised in The Humours of Haiku and the Iron Book of British Haiku (both Iron Press), The New Haiku and Where the River Goes (both Snapshot Press), Haiku in English: the First Hundred Years (WW Norton), Off the Beaten Track (Boatwhistle Books) and Stepping Stones (British Haiku Society). I co-edited Presence haiku journal, and have co-presented, or led workshops, on haiku for the Essex Poetry Festival, the Haiku North America conference 2007 and Poetry South. With Ferris Gilli, Paul MacNeil and Ron Moss, I twice won the Grand Prize of the Haiku Society of America’s Bernard Lionel Einbond Renku Award.
I’ve also contributed to The Guardian’s ‘Country Diary’ column.
I tweet at @MatthewPaulPoet.