Marc Matthews

Marc Matthews (born 1940s) is a Guyanese writer, actor, broadcaster and producer.


Marc Matthews was born in British Guiana in the 1940s. He received, he reports, "a mid-Victorian education" at Queen's College, Georgetown.

He worked as an operator, producer and presenter on Radio Demerara, as a scriptwriter and documentary researcher/ presenter for Guyana Broadcasting Service, and as a tutor in drama at the Cyril Potter Teachers Training College. He was a co-director/founder of Jaiai Independent Broadcasting Unit, and with Peter Kempadoo produced Our Kind Of Folk for radio in Guyana.[1]

In the 1960s Marc Matthews was in London as a freelance reporter, involved with the UK Black Power movement and alternative theatre productions. He was closely involved with the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM), being, along with Linton Kwesi Johnson, one of the most prominent younger poets to come out of CAM in the 1970s. Unlike with Johnson, Matthews's pioneering role as a nation language performance poet has not been fully recognised, perhaps because his roots and material were always more Guyanese than Black British. Similarly, because of its nature as live theatre rather than as published scripts, his important work, first with fellow Guyanese Ken Corsbie in Dem Two in 1974,[2] then in 1975 in All Ah We, which added John Agard and Henry Muttoo, has largely vanished from the record, if not the memory of those who witnessed them. Only Matthews's record Marc-Up (1987) survives as a record of those days.[3][4]

As the tyranny of the Burnham years worsened, Matthews settled in the United Kingdom, though he made one attempt to return to live in Guyana after the return of democratic government in the 1990s. In 1987, he won the Guyana Prize[5] for his first collection of poetry, Guyana My Altar (Karnak House, 1987). (Kairi in Trinidad had produced an early unbound pamphlet by Matthews, Eleven O'Clock Goods, in 1974.) His collection A Season of Sometimes was published by Peepal Tree Press in 1992.[6] His work has also been anthologized in collections such as The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry[7] (1992) and The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English.[8]

Around 2005 Matthews, working under the pseudonym "Tramping Man", formed a musical collaboration named Burn Brothers with two London-based producers, Jean Philippe Altier and Adam Hoyle. They were joined by saxophonist Florian Brand and performed a number of gigs in and around London in 2007. A record entitled Fire Exit was recorded and released in April 2008.

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • Eleven O'Clock Goods, Kairi, 1974.
  • Guyana My Altar (poetry), Karnak House, 1987.
  • A Season of Sometimes, Peepal Tree Press, 1992


  1. ^ "Biography at Rupununi Music Festival". Archived from the original on 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
  2. ^ "Gaffing with Kraws", Stabroek News", 2 August 2010.
  3. ^ Ken Voices Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  4. ^ Vibert C. Cambridge, "Profiles of Caribbean Artistry: Caribbean Voices 6 - Marc-Up The CD", eCaroh Caribbean Emporium.
  5. ^ "The long and short of The Guyana Prize", Guyana Chronicle Online, 12 January 2013.
  6. ^ A Season of Sometimes page Archived 2008-09-29 at the Wayback Machine at Peepal Tree Press.
  7. ^ Ian McDonald, Stewart Brown (eds), The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry, Heinemann Educational Books, 1992, pp. 132–134.
  8. ^ Paula Burnett (ed.), The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English, Penguin Books, 1986; Penguin Classics, 2005.

External linksEdit