'A rewarding collection of poems which range from vivid word-pictures evoked with a Japanese-inspired tonal delicacy through perceptively treated domestic scenes to often mysterious narratives of dreaming, memory and the recurring search for something beyond the physical realities and constraints of everyday life. An authentic voice... a capturing of people at a crossroads in their lives.'

Caroline Price

‘In his impressive debut collection, Matthew Smith takes us to places both familiar and unknown. From the Fukushima disaster to the intimacy of sleeping with a partner, he explores the public and the personal, with a keen awareness of the liminal.’ 

Michael Woods

'"Sea of the Edge" more than lived up to my expectations. A contrasting, curated collection, these poems take the reader through intimate recollections, across the seas to Japan, and from the modern day to times past. Varying in terms of style and length, each poem is distinct enough to ensure that the reader's interest is kept up throughout - every poem both different and surprising.' 

The Page is Printed

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The Annunciation (2018)

Something bolder than her
alights on the stone tiles,
wings folding like patterned silks. 

Her visitor waits patiently
till she raises her eyes.

 Storm and sunlight shaped
in a smooth face, godliness rising
to an unknown grade. A hand lifts 

stopping the sun for a while, or so
it seems to the girl, kneeling
in its shadow. 

The world turns a little.
They exchange a few words. 

When he flies, nothing seems
changed at first, but the gentle blurring
of memory, and a new burden stirs. 

Worry may lock itself in,
she murmurs, like the walls
of this garden. 

Wrists crossed, thumbs entwined,
spreading her fingers’ wings
backwards and forwards in time 

for a moment she feels she may
exit the garden the same way as him –
or soothe the small bird that reels inside.


An earlier version of The Annunciation was first published in Envoi and shortlisted for the Nottingham Open Poetry competition. This version is included in Sea of the Edge.