By Tom Mathews

No Return Game

Second collection of witty poems from celebrated cartoonist/poet


Tom Mathews has long been admired for his trademark wit and humour, for the combination of irreverence and formal inventiveness that has long since made him one of Ireland’s most celebrated cartoonists. His debut collection of poems in 2009 showed him to be, in addition, a singular, inimitable presence in Irish poetry. Taking its title from Beckett’s ‘Murphy’, his follow-up, No Return Game, is at once an extension of his’ considerable reach into (one might say infiltration of) Irish and particularly European art and literature, as it is also a deepening, and by times a darkening, of Matthews’ own vision, the big questions of time and love, ageing and loss, faced (and sometimes faced down) but always present, the poet’s evident love for language and life his constant companions and guiding stars.

“Other poets are witty, disappointed, pithy, heart-broken, indignant, erudite, sarcastic and witty (again), but only Tom Mathews is all of these in his own winning Tom Mathews way. His readers – me for one – are lucky to have him.”
— Billy Collins

“This second collection presents Mr. Mathews in sparkling and typically vivacious form – the work here is funny and skilled and sad and tender and all of these things at once.”
— Kevin Barry

ISBN 978 1 906614 75 1 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 80 pp
Sept 2013

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614751
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 80 pp
  • Published: : September 2013

About The Author


Tom Mathews is an Irish poet and cartoonist. He was born in Dublin in 1952. After working in advertising he studied Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. He has been a freelance cartoonist, writer and critic since 1975. His work appears weekly in The Irish Times and Sunday Independent. He has had thirty one-man shows and his paintings have been exhibited in Living Art, the National Portrait Show and at the RHA. He has illustrated a dozen books, written a novel and published three volumes of cartoons. His most recent book of cartoons, The New Adventures of Keats and Chapman, was published in 2008. His hobbies, he says, are "drinking stout and talking too much about James Joyce and Groucho Marx". Tom Mathews has published two collections of poetry with the Dedalus Press. “Tom Mathews has been an institution in Dublin for 30 years” — The Irish Times “Is duine an-ghéar, an chliste é” — Seán Mac Réamoinn “The estimable Tom Mathews” — Fintan O’Toole