Losing none of the exuberance and verbal agility which have become a hallmark of Simon Armitage's poetry, these poems are more obviously personal - the ensuing risks, of vulnerability and exposure, more dangerous. The poems mark a coming-of-age of a poet who is by now established as a leading voice. The book is arranged in three sections. The first part, the "Book of Matches", is a series of sonnets. Each poem is designed to relay the urgency of a struck match, packed with discoveries, flashes of insights on family and life. The poems in the middle section, "Becoming of Age" relate incidents, from other times, other lives and experiences, to a common life. The final section, "Reading the Bans", is a moving sequence of poems on the poet's marriage.
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Used availability for Simon Armitage's Book of Matches
October 1993 : UK Paperback
November 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition