Download the ‘Beyond The Night’ Press Release PDF.
Finding and losing for the thousandth time…
“But finally I stand and
With both hands;
Pull pain from my mouth
Like a line of red handkerchiefs
From a conjuror’s sleeve”
In the words of Ruth Padel: ‘Poems are not only good for you, but they protect against meaninglessness’.
Beyond The Night entwines the diverse voices of husband and wife, Neil and Sue Mattocks, in their powerful journey of love, loss and death. Breast Cancer tore the two apart in 2011, but here their words weave together – a collection of poetry and shorts, focusing both on the beautiful moments and the strain of life’s struggles.
Sue wrote throughout her illness, her experiences often reflected in her work.
“The idea for the poems came to me when I was studying on Brownsea Island in Dorset. Walking one night at dusk, I observed the changes that took place as the sun went down and darkness fell… I started to think about how the darkness and daylight can affect mood and psychological well- being.”
“In June 2012 I scattered Sue’s ashes where we used to sit and write together on the far side of the island… I wrote a poem through my tears, but a gust of wind took it from me… I knew it was there somewhere with Sue.” Neil Mattocks.
With the second anniversary of Sue’s death upon Neil, he decided to try and get her work published. After talking with Belinda Hunt at Mardibooks, the anthology began to take shape. “Belinda wanted to see my writing… Sue’s words are on the left, whilst mine are on the right.” The outcome became Beyond The Night. It was important for me that Sue’s name was on the cover. I know that she will be looking over my shoulder and hopefully approving of what I have done with her work. It was her wish to be published under the name Susanne.
About the Author
Neil H. Mattocks was born in Peterborough in 1955. With his father in the Royal Air Force, the family moved from England to KL in Malaysia before moving back to the UK in the 1960s. After leaving school, Neil eventually chose a career in retail. In 1983 Neil met and married Sue [born Susan Rose Ling in Luton, 1959]. They were married for twenty-eight years and had two daughters, Verity and Claudia. Sue was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1993, aged just 34. She passed away in November 2011. This collection Beyond The Night is Neil’s first publication. He lives in Luton with his daughters.
Read more about Neil.