Talking Myself Home a verse autobiography
The curtains creak open so this must be showbiz
But the jumble sale has already begun so maybe it isn't.
At the Church Hall the wall heaters glow faintly red
And people like Mrs McCardle and Freda Crofts
Look up briefly like you might glance at a passing plane.
from 'First Gig'

Talking Myself Home
The life story is that of John and Olive’s son, the Bard of Barnsley, from Low Valley Junior School and Wath Grammar School to Oscar the Frog (Barnsley’s first folk-rock band) and Jaws ( Barnsley ’s first folk-poetry duo) and beyond. A life lived with words at its core.  

“In some ways it’s a tiny life; a few ripples in a pond far from the centre of things, a few lines written in celebration and commemoration of places and times that deserve better. In another way it’s a shout of hope, that we can find the centre anywhere and celebrate it.”

Ian's latest book, The Richard Matthewman Stories, pub. Pomona
For a Yorkshireman who has spent half a lifetime in his native pit village, moving south is a mixed blessing and it is where Richard Matthewman's memories begin as he looks back with affection, humour, and no small measure of exasperation at 42 summers - and bitter winters.

From boyhood through adolescence to marriage and a family, his stories are filled with a rich gallery of characters - the relations, friends and village notables of a vital community filled with life and incident but as brittle and unmistakably northern as the coal seams on which it was built.

Other Publications
The Richard Matthewman Stories with Martyn Wiley
Yorkshire Humour with cartoonist Tony Husband
Dalesman, 2009
Talking Myself Home
John Murray, 2008
Chelp and Chunter How To Talk Tyke
   Collins, 2007
The Invisible Villain
Macmillan Children's Books, 2002
The Very Best of Ian McMillan
Macmillan Children's Books, 2001
I Found This Shirt 
Carcanet, 1998
It's Just Like Watching Brazil A Premiership Season in Verse
    Yorkshire Art Circus
Elephant Dreams   Sandwich Poets series 
Macmillan Children's Books, 1998
Dad, the Donkey's on Fire  
Carcanet, 1994
Selected Poems
    Carcanet, 1987


Bookings / info. contact: Adrian Mealing tel/fax:  +44 (0) 1684 540366  web:

Press contact: Jim Howden tel: +44 (0)1568 620515   e-mail:

Page last updated: 22 June 2010