Place of birth
Place of residence
United Kingdom
National identity
United Kingdom

Marc Matthews

Short biography
Marc Matthews was born in Guyana 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 as a tutor in drama at the Cyril Potter Teachers Training College. In the 1960s he 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, being, along with Linton Kwesi Johnson, one of the most prominent younger poets to come out of CAM. Unlike Johnson, Marc Matthews's pioneering role as a nation language performance poet has not been properly recognised, probably 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, then 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.

As the tyranny of the Burnham years worsened, Marc Matthews settled in the UK, though he made one attempt to return to live in Guyana after the return of democratic government in the 1990s. In 1988, he won the Guyana Prize for his first collection of poetry Guyana My Altar, Karnak House, 1987 (Kairi in Trinidad had produced an early unbound pamphlet of Matthews, Eleven O'Clock Goods, in 1974)."