MATTHEW HOLLIS was born in Norwich in 1971. Ground Water (Bloodaxe, 2004) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread Prize for Poetry and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He is co-editor of Strong Words: Modern Poets on Modern Poetry (Bloodaxe, 2000) and 101 Poems Against War (Faber, 2003), and editor of Selected Poems of Edward Thomas (Faber, 2011). Now All Roads Lead to France: the Last Years of Edward Thomas (Faber, 2011; Norton, 2012) won the Costa Biography Award and the H. W. Fisher Biography Prize and was Sunday Times Biography of the Year.

‘Hollis writes a knowing, lyrical poetry set against a landscape of big skies and battened-down horizons. He combines worldly wisdom with more detailed, vernacular understanding to produce poems that speak with a sense of purpose and place.’

Simon Armitage

Forthcoming Events + News

New poem published in the Guardian

‘Causeway’ has been published in the Guardian’s Keep it in the Ground campaign, curated and introduced by Carol Ann Duffy, 20 May 2015. Read all the poems here

BBC Radio 4, The Cultural Front, Saturday 2 May 2015, 10.30am

BBC Radio 4, The Cultural Front
with Francine Stock

In the last in the series covering 1915, Francine Stock looks at how the harrowing effects of World War I began to make themselves apparent in art, music and poetry. With contributions from Dr David Code, University of Glasgow, Dr Anna Farthing, Professor Edgar Jones of King’s College London, John Forrester, Dr Dorothy Price, University of Bristol, and poet Matthew Hollis.

To listen to the broadcast, click here

New poem published in Ploughshares, USA

‘Beck’ has been published in the Spring 2015 edition of Ploughshares

Tuesday 10 March 2015, 6pm

CORK, Boole Library, University College
Spring Reading Series

Details: tel +353 (0)21 490 2664/2241/3677

BBC Radio 3, Proms Literary Plus, Monday 8 September 2014, 7.45pm

BBC Radio 3, Proms Literary Plus: Robert Frost
with Matthew Sweet and Jay Parini

In 1914 the American poet Robert Frost published his collection North of Boston. It was hailed as ‘one of the most revolutionary books of modern times’ by the English poet Edward Thomas. Matthew Hollis, who has written about the friendship between the two writers, is joined by Frost’s biographer Jay Parini to discuss the poet. Recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music.

To listen to the broadcast, click here

Adlestrop, 100 Years On, 24 June 2014

To listen to Matthew discussing Edward’s Thomas poem on BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub, click here

To read Matthew’s account of the drafting of the poem, click here

To listen to Anne Harvey exploring how the poem came to be written, click here

To follow The Poetry Society’s celebrations of the poem, click here

Thursday 28 April 2014, 7pm

AUSTIN, Texas, Harry Ransom Center
Harry Ransom Center (HRC) 300 21ST ST W, Austin, Texas 78705
Harry Ransom Lecture: The Road Taken: Edward Thomas, Robert Frost and The Great War

Details: tel 512-232-5170

BBC Radio 4, Bookclub, Sunday 3 November 2013, 4.00pm & Thursday 7 November 2013, 3.30pm

BBC Radio 4, Bookclub
with James Naughtie

Matthew Hollis discusses his Costa winning biography of the poet Edward Thomas, Now All Roads Lead to France.

To listen to the broadcast, click here

BBC Radio 4 Extra, Book of the Week, 7-11 October 2013, 2.45pm

BBC Radio 4, Book of the Week

Read by Tobias Menzies
Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Emma Harding

To listen to the broadcast, click here

Friday 4 October 2013, 6.30pm

LONDON, Camden, United Reform Church
Camden and Lumen Poetry
a charity supporting the Cold Weather Shelters in Camden and Kings Cross
with Ruth Padel

Sunday 26 May 2013, 8pm

DUBLIN, Writers Festival, Smock Alley Theatre
Dennis O’Driscoll: A Celebration
with Seamus Heaney and Michael Hofmann
Details: tel +353 (0) 1 222 5455

Wednesday 15 May 2013, 7.30pm

LONDON, Bush Theatre Library, Shepherd’s Bush
Poetry in the Library
with Jo Shapcott
Details: tel 020 8743 5050

Wednesday 8 May 2013, 6.45pm

CAMBRIDGE, Fitzwilliam Museum
Thresholds: a poetry reading with Sean Borodale, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Ann Gray, Jackie Kay, Daljit Nagra, Don Paterson and Jo Shapcott, hosted by Carol Ann Duffy
Details: by invitation

Thursday 25 April 2013, 6.30pm

CAMBRIDGE, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
Thresholds: a poetry reading
Details: tel 01223 333456

New poem broadcast on BBC Radio 4, The Echo Chamber

‘Wastwater’ has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s The Echo Chamber

River Thames article published in New Statesman

‘Secrets of a River’ has been published in New Statesman, 26 July 2012.

Society of Authors' Travelling Scholarship

Matthew has been awarded a Traveling Scholarship from the Society of Authors. For details click here.

W. W. Norton

W. W. Norton will publish Now All Roads Lead to France in the United States on 22 October. For details click here.

New films by the Guardian

Sarah Crown joins Matthew for a walk around Edward Thomas’s Hampshire and for a reading from Now All Roads Lead to France in Cameron Robertson’s two films for the Guardian.

New poem published in New Statesman

‘The Staithe’ has been published in New Statesman, 12 December 2011

Now All Roads Lead to France

NOW ALL ROADS LEAD TO FRANCE: The Last Years of Edward Thomas, a biography by Matthew, is published by Faber and Faber on 4 August 2011 simultaneously with his edition of Thomas’s SELECTED POEMS.

Read Matthew’s specially commissioned pieces on the friendship of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost for the Guardian, and on the composition of Thomas’s poem ‘Adlestrop’ in the New Statesman.

Download the Faber podcast and watch Matthew talking about the book here.

Matthew Hollis on Now All Roads Lead to France from FaberBooks on Vimeo.

Read the first reviews: Sunday Telegraph, Independent, Financial Times, Daily Mail, Guardian, Independent (Selected Poems), New Statesman, Literary Review, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Daily Telegraph and Guardian (Selected Poems), Herald and Spectator. A summary of comments by the Sunday Times, Independent and Mail on Sunday appears here. Commenteries on Thomas appear in the Irish Independent and Independent.

Now All Roads Lead to France has been recognised with a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction.

The Poetry Archive

Matthew’s recording of Ground Water for The Poetry Archive is now available on CD and online. To visit the Archive click here, or to purchase the CD click here.