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Matt Abbott


What I do:

As a full-time poet, my work predominantly involves working in educational settings. I have nearly a decade of experience working in schools and non-formal settings for participants aged 7 upwards. I also perform my work at events around the UK and Europe; write commissions for organisations on a global scale; produce events around the UK; and sell books of my work that’ve been professionally published.

What steps I took to get where I am now:

I started writing and performing poetry whilst studying at Sixth Form in Ossett and cut my teeth on the West Yorkshire music scene. I then became a professional musician with Skint & Demoralised which saw me perform around the UK and Europe as well as in New York. In 2014, I made the decision to pursue poetry as a full-time career and have built my experience from there. I’m entirely self-taught and have been fortunate to work with a wide range of people who’ve given me endless insights and lessons.

What creative opportunities I'm looking for:

I’ve registered on this website to advertise my work in schools and educational settings. As I’ve said, I have nearly a decade of experience working in formal and non-formal educational environments. This ranges from Primary school through to FE; alternative provisions including PRUs and SEMH schools; working with pupils who’ve been entirely removed from mainstream or alternative education; and youth offending groups. It also includes adult non-formal groups (i.e. existing writers looking to develop their craft at all stages of their writing journeys) and work in arts and heritage organisations including The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

I’m taking bookings for the 2022/23 academic year. My visits are entirely flexible and can include full days with one group; a series of smaller sessions with different groups throughout the day; assembly performances; and accompaniment on out-of-school visits. I always tailor my session plans around each booking and love to do everything I can to make the most out of my visit.

My proudest moment:

I’d have to say it was being commissioned by Leeds United to write a poem for their centenary kit launch in 2019. This was the club’s official video to kickstart the centenary season, which ended up being the historic season that saw Leeds win promotion back to the Premier League. I’ve been a diehard Leeds fan since I was 7 years old – you can’t top that!

My dream creative collaboration:

Working with schools around the entire Wakefield district to:
– spark enthusiasm for poetry
– challenge preconceptions around what poetry is (and can be)
– use poetry to bring different groups together.

What does Wakefield mean to me?
Wakefield is where I grew up and where I've lived most of my life. My parents still live in Ossett and a huge chunk of my formative memories were formed in a WF postcode. Maintaining a connection with the city means the world to me.
Creative Originals
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