A bit of biog
Writer, poet, enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting, Matt’s way with words has taken him from Totnes to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships via Saturday Live, the Edinburgh Festival and the Work section of the Guardian. He is host of Radio 4’s Wondermentalist Cabaret, creator of Empath Man, and author of The Hole in the Sum of my Parts, Where Earwigs Dare and Mindless Body Spineless Mind.
A longer bit of biog
Writer, poet, enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting, Matt’s way with words has taken him from Totnes to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships via Saturday Live, the Edinburgh Festival and the Work section of the Guardian. He is host of Radio 4’s Wondermentalist Cabaret, creator of Empath Man, and author of The Hole in the Sum of my Parts, Where Earwigs Dare and Mindless Body Spineless Mind. Described by The Independent as “Very funny…” by The Guardian as “…not only funny, but tender and true” and by theCheddar Gazette as “worthy of the West End”. For children he has written Shopping With Dad illustrated by Miriam Latimer, and Beastie and the Boys, illustrated by Chloe Uden. Shopping With Dad was made into a film by CBBC and has been translated into several languages.
Matt has also written lyrics for children’s song cycles, collaborating with composer Stephen Deazley on The Songbook of Unsingable Songs and more recently A Little Book of Monsters – “the twisted tales that Harvey slipped into verse were gleefully dark” The Scotsman. About the Unsingable Songs they said: “These are juicy, clever, renegade songs that tap into the delights of bizarre imaginings and ricketty-racketty word play. Naughty round the edges… but touching deep into the soul of childhood…” The Herald. “Everything about it was clever and cutting edge… a most incredible and uplifting event, as though Tom Waits and Stephen Sondheim had come together with Roald Dahl.” Sunday Times Online
Matt collaborated with composer Thomas Hewitt Jones on the hit musical Rumpelstiltskin – “Wit, charm and great songs” The Guardian – at the egg Theatre, Bath.
Various short quotes
“Very funny…” The Independent
“…not only funny, but tender and true” The Guardian
“One of the country’s finest performance poets” The Scotsman
“Matt’s poetry puts a smile on your face and leaves a little wisdom in your brain” Fi Glover
“He is a wonderer at the world and its words, although possibly a little anti-slug.” John Hegley
“Fabulously understated” The Dorset Echo
“Worthy of the West End” “Cheddar Valley Gazette
Information (pdf document)
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[from Guardian Guide August 18 2007]:
Where would British comedy be without its stand-up poets? John Cooper Clarke, Attila The Stockbroker, John Hegley, the late Hovis Presley – the modern comedy scene is inconceivable without them, and the latest name to add to that list is Matt Harvey. He’s a fine comic poet who got his first big break at the New Writers Festival at Plymouth Theatre Royal way back in 1992. However, poets tend to evolve more slowly than other entertainers, and 15 years later he’s finally published his first “proper” poetry book. The Hole In The Sum Of My Parts comprises the greatest hits from his four self-published poetry collections, plus some brand new verse, and it’s a tiny treasure – not only funny, but tender and true. It’s no surprise to find he’s done some stand-up too. “You’re so brave,” people sometimes said when he started out. “No, true bravery is to be found elsewhere,” he told them. “But secretly, in my heart, I agreed with them,” he says.
[William Cook, Guardian Guide August 18 2007]