Fatima Al Matar

Fatima Al Matar




Fatima Al Matar is a poet. Her collection, The Heart and the Subsidiary was published in 2010. She was commissioned to write for The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and her work has been short-listed and highly commended in the Torbay Poetry Competition (2009), The Welsh Poetry Competition (2010) and the Sentinel Poetry Competition (2011). 

Arabic is her first language and Fatima honed her poetry skills in English by meeting with a small group of poets once a month a Coventry's Council House. Searching for a larger literary scene, she discovered the vibrant multi-cultural city of Leicester, where she found strong enthusiasm for art and poetry. Inspired by a community of like-minded poets, Fatima performed her poetry in multiple venues and won several poetry slams.

Fatima was born in Kuwait and completed an LLM in Law and PhD in Law (Warwick). She now teaches Economic Law at Kuwait University. During her long postgraduate journey away from home, she had her first and only child, Jori, divorced, and discovered her ability to write poetry.


Creative Work

Silence has sound

Silence comes back
Stamps its muddy feet on my door mat
Throws its body on my couch
Makes itself right at home
Patronises me without a word:
He's gone isn't he? You've managed to drive this one away too.

Silence stays wide awake all night.
I hear it flicking through photo albums that were well tucked away
Its cricket-like footsteps come upstairs. It
Lurks behind shower curtains
Loosens the basin tap:
Drip, drop
Drip, drop

Plays its favourite game,
Amplifies my insomniac breathing
Throws balls of fire against the walls.
Haunting echoes shoot through
The corners of this small dark room:
The flame-tipped spears of his long-gone lips
The burning waves of his long-gone voice.

When silence has sound.



'Silence has Sound' is a performance piece. This poem reminds me of Leicester; I performed it on multiple occasions including WORD!, a lively poetry performance venue at the Y Theatre on East Street. That particular performance of 'Silence has Sound' led to a new commission for a poem for  St George's day, which was performed at Leicester Square in April 2011.

            My poem captures the silence that comes when loved ones go. It conveys the loneliness of loss. To me the piece is an honest account of a woman recently made single, yet it also hides in its folds a sense of absence and distance from home, a sense of being far from comfort, reassurance or emotional support. Honest poetry intrigues me. I like poems that reflect upon the fragility of being human without hiding behind clever metaphors or unnecessary clichés. One of my priorities as a poet is to write poems that people can relate to. It is a quality I look for myself when I read poetry; honest poetry relieves the sense of being alone in an experience.



The Heart and the Subsidiary, Author House, 2010
Poems in Acumen, The Journal, Angelic Dynamo, Further Monthly, Staples Magazine, Word, Fleeting Magazine and Bad Language


Contact and Links

Twitter: @fatimaalmatar

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