I run the annual Somerset Young Poets competition, and as a teacher have worked with the Poetry Society, the Arvon Foundation, the John Betjeman Foundation and the George Orwell Society. I am well-known in schools across Somerset.
In terms of my own writing, I have published Night Porter, a prize-winning pamphlet about working in a Yorkshire hotel, Boxing the Compass, a first collection, and a translation of the Taiwanese poet Yao Yun called The Desire to Sing after Sunset. I’ve also created a free online teaching resource called The Poetry Map (www.mattbryden.co.uk) which has been used as far afield at South California University and Taunton International School.
As well as being interested in senses of place, I am keen on finding ways to reach people who are not necessarily readers or writers of poetry. I am a winner of the inaugural Literature Matters award from the Royal Society of Literature and am currently poet in residence at Bristol Temple Meads Lost Property Office.
The poet Alison Brackenbury writes, ‘Restrained, attentive and wise, Matt Bryden’s poems flash light into a world of work and hurried lives which remain a closed book to many poets.’