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Welcome to another thrilling installment in the ongoing Author Interview Series.
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It’s time to see the weekend in with style, as tonight I chat with poet. musician and author Matt Seeley about his debut poetry book release, his music and his writing experiences.
Have a great time folks and enjoy yourselves 🙂
Hi there Matt, a pleasure to have you here to talk about your inspirations, writing style, song lyrics, instrumental songs and your latest poetry book release.
Aw shucks. You’re too kind.
Firstly, let’s start with your debut poetry book release, which is now available on Amazon. Why is your book called “Syndrome”, what is the relevance to the poems and collection itself?
A syndrome is a combination of symptoms or problems that signify a disease. I see the current political and social climates, both at home in the UK and globally, as suffering from some form of disease. My poetry focuses heavily on the issues, or symptoms, that make up this syndrome.
What are the themes that unite “Syndrome” together and how did you approach preparing them for a collection? Did you have to remove any poems that did not fit into the core themes that you were exploring for this book?
The core theme is political and social issues, ranging from the current UK government to homelessness to the hate that has manifested itself throughout the world. It also covers my own experiences through my first (nearly) 28 years of life. Whether a poem is about love or loss, happiness or heartbreak, mental health, or straight up anger at the state of the world, I didn’t see any as not ‘fitting the mould.’ The poems are in no strict order either, so I guess the chaos of life is something of a hidden theme.
How does a poem begin for you? Does it start with an image, a form or a particular theme?
Almost always it’s a single word or verse. It could be a song lyric that resonates, a word that keeps bouncing around my head, or something said in conversation that I suddenly think “oh, that’s a good verse.” I’ve tried to use images as a prompt, but it’s not something that has ever worked for me.
Are there any poetic forms you haven’t tried yet but would like to?
There are a lot I haven’t tried, but no so many I’m desperate to! I’d love to write a Sestina but whenever I’ve given it any thought, I’ve got no further than the second line. I don’t work well with constraints, which is why I often end up butchering any form I try to write.
How important is accessibility of the meaning of your poems? Should we have to work hard to “solve” the poems and discover their deeper meanings?
Accessibility is not a conscious goal when I write, but I certainly would not dismiss it. I write what I feel, which is why I don’t use flowery words and swear a lot instead. The meanings are (almost) always obvious, but there are some where the story I tell is hidden perhaps a little too well behind metaphors. But isn’t that the beauty of it all? If somebody finds a meaning in my writing that I didn’t even know was there, I think that’s incredible.
What are you main sources of inspiration or research when it comes to crafting your poetry?
Inspiration strikes when it strikes. I don’t go searching for it. If it is forced then it’s not something I feel strongly enough to write about it. Once I do get an idea I will normally write three or four lines and work from there. If an obvious pattern or rhythm emerges I might try to follow that, loosely. Otherwise I just let the words do as they please.
Has your own opinion or idea of what poetry is changed since you first started writing poetry?
I wish I could answer that, but I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure I’ve ever had much of an opinion on it (one of the few things). Perhaps if anything, I have started seeing poetry as a far looser term than previously.
You also compose instrumental songs and write song lyrics. Please tell us more about this and the similarities/differences in your songwriting to your poetry writing, along with your inspirations that help you to craft your songs and song lyrics.
I write lyrics in much the same way as I do poems. The only difference is I whack in a chorus and try to be stricter with the rhythm and rhyming structure. Musical composition is a totally different ballgame. I played a little bit of piano when I was younger, but I have next to no musical experience or even knowledge. Right now it’s more a learning exercise for me, so there’s not much I can say on it other than that.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
I have no idea! I love wolves, and I think I once took one of those online quizzes that said I was more like a wolf than any other animal. So I’ll go with that. Or a honey badger; small and cute, but you don’t want to get on its bad side.
What were the hardest parts of “Syndrome” to write? And what were the easiest?
The blurb was the hardest. There’s no plot, no structure, no linear progression. Summing up everything in my writing into just a few lines was torture. And the easiest was the title; it was the first one I thought up and only one other came close in my mind.
Who are some of your favourite authors, historical figures, poets and poems?
Despite being a poet, I’ve never actually had the interest in reading it myself. As for historical figures, nobody stands out for me. Author-wise, I was a huge fan of the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. I started reading that when I was 6 or 7. Every time a new book was released I would reread the entire series, to make sure when I read the new story it fitted in properly. I read his Castaways of the Flying Dutchman books as well, which had a very different feel to them, but equally enjoyable. Then, for whatever reason, I just stopped reading.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I don’t. If the words aren’t flowing and the well’s run dry, I just sit and wait for the drought to end. It doesn’t usually last long, three or four days at most. The only method I use, if you could call it a method, is I scrap any works in progress if I haven’t added to it for two weeks.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Gaming, I suppose; Xbox, obviously. Watching stuff on Netflix. Sometimes I try to mimic socially acceptable behaviour and talk to people, but I’m a hermit at heart. Daydream. Maybe go for a walk; I love mountains, forests, lakes and waterfalls, so if I go on holiday I aim for that kind of country or region. And, of course, performing my poetry!
Regarding your subsequent projects, will you be writing another poetry book or do you have other projects in the pipeline?
There will, hopefully, be a second poetry book. I have a title and a cover already drafted (though they don’t fit, so I can only use one). I have plenty of material, and some of it is actually not terrible, so that’s definitely one target. I really, really, REALLY want to get an actual story written, but I lose interest after two or three chapters. Given the cynical and satirical humour I try to incorporate into some of my poems, and the self-deprecating style I deliver them with live, I’ve had a few suggestions of trying my hand at poetry-based stand-up, which I may try someday.
More than anything though, I would love to get some of the songs I’ve written played by a real-life band. I know I need to improve in that area first but that is the ultimate dream for me.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring poets?
Write for yourself, not for others. Because at least you know somebody will enjoy your work. Don’t force it, don’t try hard to please others. Write what you want to write, and write what you want to read. And never, ever stop.
And that’s a wrap! Thanks for spending time with us today Matt, we look forward to checking out and enjoying your poetry book soon 🙂
I make it beer o’clock… 🙂
Matt Seeley is a heavy metal fan, university dropout, sarcastic and cynical, has zero filter and is socially awkward. Describing himself as “just some guy from England” Matt has always let his writing do the talking (which is probably best, if you’ve ever heard a Brummie speak). Whether it’s his anger at the political climate, disgust at the state of society, or offerings of motivational musings, Matt’s poems are always blunt and to the point.
Combining anger, humour, anguish and wit, no topic is safe.
You can connect with Matt via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Ups, Downs & Deviations – Matt Seeley (FB)
Instagram:- @mattseeleypoet (Instagram)
Website:- Ups, Downs & Deviations – Poems and ramblings about anything and everything.
You can buy his books here:-
Buy Matt Seeley’s books in the UK/Europe
Buy Matt Seeley’s books in the US/Rest of the World
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, Matt’s poems delve into a variety of topics and he aims to educate and enlighten us with his words. His trademark is to get us to think hard about the issues he raises in his social commentaries. For more articles on the theme of ‘Trademark’ then check out the links below:-
1. shame – Biology
2. Black Friday Craze by Penny Chavers – The Pen Cushion
3. Trademark – Run and Travel
4. emmapalova – Orchards as inspiration
5. The Little Journal – Melinda J. Irvine
6. A Life Retired – October’s love
7. The Daily Post Writing Prompt Challenge! – Allison’s Written Words
8. “Identifying Trademarks.” – Expedition Overlanding Nomadic Adventures
9. The Lord’s Blessing – The Bonny Cat
10. My Ancestors ~~ My Heritage – Roaming Urban Gypsy
11. trademark – Litterbox Riot
12. Daily Prompt-Trademark – WoollyMuses
13. theblackwallblog – Trademark of New England’s Fall
14. Trademark – Leigha Robbins
15. This is You – Debbie Gravett
16. Success Inspirers World – Peace our trademark
17. Trademark – wordsareallihavesite
18. Being lawful – The Chaos Within
19. The winter I felt – Written Frames
20. Wordless Noiseless Remington Steel – Nes Felicio Photography
21. First blog post – T.R. Saylor
22. Meditation monk – SweetHandlettering!
23. The World Outside the Window – Dream a little Dream
24. Your Mark My Trademark Trademark – The Secret Letters to Timbo
25. What is Your Trademark? #MPBooks – My Peacock Books
26. Marketing Mass Murder – The Pensive Dreamer
27. Bastard Preachers – The Pensive Dreamer
28. Love Alchemy – Action > Words
29. Be the “Trademark” in this world full of Trademark infringement – The girl who writes her own story
30. What happened when I drank ACV for 6 months – LIFESTYLE DESIGN
31. if i fitz i sitz – my sweetpainteddreams
32. sonja benskin mesher – .. joshua 10.11.
33. Trademark – Coffee and Notions
34. My signature trademarks… – Mum’s the Word Blog
35. Sleep Song – Hannah’s Happenings!
36. Trademark – Chappy and Neko
37. juantetcts – Daily Post/Trademark
38. Do You Have Writer’s Disease? – Author Flawed to Perfection
39. short story #12 – Stories
40. Once a Day Photos | – Daily Prompt : H-D Trademark –
41. helen meikle’s scribblefest – Daily prompt: Don’t poke the koala
42. Think Trademark – On a mission
43. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Your Trademark
44. Single Guy Says – Single Guy Tries ‘Bebop Korean-Mexican Grill’
45. If…, then everything is alright. – afaceinthecrowdblog
46. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – Fan Fiction with McGruff, Garofalo, & Ruffaloâ„¢
47. A Life Retired Blog – Christmas trademark
48. Bajezen – Trademark
49. Hive Mind – Brainpan Data Dump
50. S. Cameron Roach – Destination
51. When The Restroom Is Not For Customers – Mahesh Nair
52. If I’m gone tomorrow – Dear Children,
53. Marriage May Not Be Forever, But Divorce Usually Is – Divorce Guilt
54. B*_ live – You must GO home!
55. A River Of Creativity – corazon181
56. Displayed and Available – A Unique Title For Me
57. logicaldreams – Short Story: Trademarkless Bottoms
58. A Short Conversation – Because You Let Me
59. copypower – Your Simplicity is Your Trademark
60. Steps Times Two – Love of One
61. booleanlogically – Daily Prompt – Trademark
62. Darla Dishes a dose of trademark snark… with pictures! – DARLA DISHES
63. Took a Leap – a nomad in cyberspace
64. Trademark – Mere Thoughts
65. Stare – I am a paradox.
66. Rebranding – Ataraxia
67. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – He Who We Are Tired Of
68. A Mixed Multitude – “Just for Yuks”
69. The many layers of Jen – Open for Business: Mini Target
70. Zombie Flamingos – Apparently I have a lot of trademarks…
71. The Dark – AHAmoments
72. Trademark,……really? – LIFE AS I SEE IT – with one eye closed.
73. Cage Dunn: Writer Author Collaborator – Equine Neophyte of the Blood Desert
74. Flowers and Breezes – Trademark
75. Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Reading Writer Observation #8–Make Me Care!
76. Epiphany – Dutch nationalism: Je maintiendrai
77. Karen Lynne Beads – Trademark
78. Artificial – Vox Humbug
79. ~297 Of 365~ – ……….365 Days………..
80. Innocent eyes – The art of not giving up
81. Trademarking Memories – Tales of a Quirky Stepmom
82. 3ckThoughts & Things – Choices
83. Trademark – La Petit Muse…
84. Books I’ve Been Reading – k a i t
85. Walk with God – The Tattletale
86. For Much Deliberation – Thinking ~233…
87. Life On The Skinny Branches – Ownership
88. Trademark – Life is great
89. Trademark blues – Dear Diary
90. Trademark with a twist – Revolving Around Life
91. Trademark – Silverback Gorilla Poetry
92. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Trademark Quality
93. Giggles & Tales – A Salient Trademark…!
94. Le Drake Noir – Waving in the wind
95. Notes to Women – Friends and Co-Workers
96. This Could Turn into a Positive Teachable Moment – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
97. Safe Haven – BONSALLES ART
98. Failure: Opportunity In Disguise – Success Strategies
99. Birthday Cake Dip: The Best School Treat – Adventures of a Busy Mom
100. A Diary of A Single Man: Love & The Foolish – Harlem Cafe
101. Pirates – The AAAmazing Phoenix
102. Scene: A Moment Bright – MindEscapes
103. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Trademark
104. Trademark – confessionaddict
105. Diary of A Single Man: Loyalty & Expectations – Harlem Cafe
106. I won’t allow my Anxiety to be my Trademark – Smile at Life
107. No Time For Cameras, Let’s Use Our Eyes Instead – This is Loit!
108. y – when viewed close up, the
109. TomSpy – Soul Marker
110. Fall Seven Times Stand Up Eight – Harlem Cafe
111. A Diary of A Single Man: In My Bed – Harlem Cafe
112. Free Verse – Patterns and Expectations
113. Trademarking the Ark – Writer’s block
114. Charmed Chaos – White Souls
115. Swell Time – It’s in the contract
116. Halloween Challenge: Skeleton – MindEscapes
117. Trademark – The Bag Lady
118. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – With my head in the clouds
119. Annabelle Creation : My Trademark – No Fear – Aashutosh Sapkota
120. Tattoo – Megha’s World
121. SERENDIPITY – TRADEMARK: BRANDING YOUR STUFF
122. Na’ama Yehuda – Trademarked Children
123. Trademark – Covert Novelist
124. Piper’s Adventures – A Personal Trademark
125. Back With More: It’s A Lifestyle – Kissxd By Me
126. The Full Experience – Kissxd By Me
127. Freshman Class 2017 – Kissxd By Me
128. Welcome to the Palace – Kissxd By Me
129. Hot Dogs and Marmalade – Mr. Hanson
130. Your Happy Brain, Connection and the Science Behind It – Stew Rd.
131. Revisiting; 2.14am 14.10.2017 // 12.10.2017 – Lucy’s Journal
132. First post – Nails and Sparkles
133. I hate customers – Sarahs Crazy Mind
134. Telling the Truth – A Thought went up my mind today —
135. Trademark – Wings Of Poetry
136. My Own Little Wars – Outside the Box
137. Overloading – Zeckrombryan
138. MACRO: art in a brewery – Don’t hold your breath
139. juantetcts – Daily Post
140. Quotidian Ruminations: Two Dogs, DK, and Me – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
141. Gregory Josephs – 6 Ways to Tourist Your Home Town
142. Symbolism – This, That, and The Other
143. Nan’s Farm-Inside Out – Owl and Mouse – In a nutshell…
144. Miss Pelican’s Perch – Why the Pelican?
145. A Simple Way to Start the Day – Nes Felicio Photography
146. Grammy Writes – The Search
147. Yesterday, this happened!!! – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
148. Kimberlee K. – How to be Me for Halloween
149. Trademark: Excoriating Honesty… – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
150. Thoughts on Life – Trademark
151. Treasure Map – The Stars, Moon and You
152. You are the tailor that binds your own story and trademarks the design of your personal journey. – Individual expressions of a naive mind.
153. The boy on the bus – juanita394
154. Powerless – The Fuzz
155. Misifusa’s Blog – Dahlia Trademark
156. Narutomath96 – An easy moment
157. Trademark – Life As A Believer
158. parallax – Trademark
159. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Trademark!
160. Heroin – Darkness Is My Ally
161. I got nuthin ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
162. Armed With A Keyboard – Be Distinct and Unique
163. What is your trademark? – The Story Addict
164. Collateral Damage – Fox Fresh
165. Life Goes On – A Beautiful Mess
166. The Other Stuff – Reader Poll: What would you take?
167. Excuses. Excuses. Dreams & Muses. – Just a Little Magic
168. Trademarks Of A Thinker – emotionsoflife2016
169. tourist in his own city – Full Frame Images
170. Success Inspirers World – Trademark
171. the15thday – just way too much of a moobs and keg-belly in your face deal
172. Sigils – Right of Legions
173. Promoting Simplicity – Islamic Methodologies Made Easy
174. PAINT + POEMS – The Ark
175. Hot White Snow – Trademark Confidence
176. Six-word story: Trademark – writingiswonderful
177. Ooh! – This Girl’s Got Curves
178. Trademark – All About Writing and more
179. The Wandering Poet – Remembering
180. Designer Sophisticate – Touchdown Celebrations.
181. Uninspiring – Just Writing!
182. A Three Line Short Horror Story- Chapter 16 (Mother) – Jajabor, The Nomad
183. LET’S SMELL THE COFFEE – Rainbow
184. Dive into the World of Champagne – Journeys of Len
185. Frank Prem – I Know
186. Favorite Protagonist Musical Songs – Meg’s Magical Musings
187. A Three Line Short Horror Story- Chapter 23 (A Heart) – Jajabor, The Nomad
188. Cimmerian Sentiment – Never-Ending Questions – (Part – 25) Verena In Evermont
189. Frank Prem – Rocking Horse Dreams
190. I Want To Know The Depths of Your Soul – ~From Life To Shereen~
191. Frank Prem – The Chocolate Bird
192. Basking in the train glow – Wells Baum
5 thoughts on “Author Interview – Matt Seeley – “Syndrome” (Contemporary Poetry)”
Pingback: Author Interview – Matt Seeley – “Syndrome” (Contemporary Poetry) | Ups, Downs & Deviations
Thanks for linking. Interesting to see poets being featured here.
Hey there Kasmin. Yes, I interview poets because being one myself means that I am keen to help promote poets because they are my people 🙂
Thanks for sharing my blog! 🙂