Tom Mathews has long been admired for his trademark wit and humour, for the combination of irreverence and formal inventiveness that has long since made him one of Ireland’s most celebrated cartoonists. His debut collection of poems in 2009 showed him to be, in addition, a singular, inimitable presence in Irish poetry. Taking its title from Beckett’s ‘Murphy’, his follow-up, No Return Game, is at once an extension of his’ considerable reach into (one might say infiltration of) Irish and particularly European art and literature, as it is also a deepening, and by times a darkening, of Matthews’ own vision, the big questions of time and love, ageing and loss, faced (and sometimes faced down) but always present, the poet’s evident love for language and life his constant companions and guiding stars.
“Other poets are witty, disappointed, pithy, heart-broken, indignant, erudite, sarcastic and witty (again), but only Tom Mathews is all of these in his own winning Tom Mathews way. His readers – me for one – are lucky to have him.”
— Billy Collins
“This second collection presents Mr. Mathews in sparkling and typically vivacious form – the work here is funny and skilled and sad and tender and all of these things at once.”
— Kevin Barry
ISBN 978 1 906614 75 1 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 80 pp