The Next Big Thing: Matt Hetherington

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In the third of my ‘Next Big Thing’ series, here we delve into the creative molecules of Melbourne’s Matt Hetherington. Matt did me the honour of launching The Blue Cathedral at the Melbourne Writers Festival last year, and marked the event by presenting me with a mix-CD ‘soundtrack’ of the novel that he’d compiled. For that alone, he’s uber-cool. But he’s also a fabulous poet. Take it away, Matt.

What is the title of your book?

‘Eye to Eye’.

What genre does your book full under?

Poetry.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Poets don’t do synopis! Ok…it’s a book about the loss of romantic love, and finding the heart [cour-AGE] to recover from and transcend the pain of such loss.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My life! It was very much necessary for me to write these poems.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The large majority of the poems were written over a 4/5 year period, though one or two are older than that, but fitted in with what the book’s about.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My own sterotypically broken heart! And an enormous amount of of superb love-poetry out there… But espcially collections like Eric Beach’s ‘Weeping for Lost Babylon’, Claire Gaskin’s a bud’, Ian McBryde’s ‘Slivers’, and Jordie Albiston’s ‘The Fall’, all of which deal with great loss and grief [and all Victoria-based poets!]. I was also inspired by many musical sources, such as Nick Drake’s ‘Pink Moon’ and the songs of my old mate Yilton Kreen, but maybe particularly great ‘break-up albums’ of the past, particularly Bob Dylan’s ‘Time Out of Mind’ and ‘Blood on the Tracks’, Jeff Buckley’s ‘Sketches [for My Sweetheart the Drunk’], and Frank Sinatra’s ‘In the Wee Small Hours’.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Did it myself, with layout by the rock-steady Stefan Morris.

What other books would you compare this book to in your genre?

Oh, see above.

What actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie rendition?

Greta Garbo to play me. After that…hmmmm…

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think it’s a good book. More poetry for ALL of us!

[‘Eye To Eye’ is available at Collected Works Bookshop in Melbourne, or i can be emailed at mattheth@gmail.com.]

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