Matthew Shenoda

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Matthew Shenoda is a poet, writer, and professor based in the United States. Born July 14, 1977 in California to Coptic parents who immigrated from Egypt, Matthew Shenoda is a writer and educator whose poems and writings have appeared in a variety of newspapers, journals, radio programs and anthologies. He has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his work has been supported by the California Arts Council and the Lannan Foundation among others.

His debut collection of poems, Somewhere Else (Coffee House Press), was named one of 2005's debut books of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine and was winner of a 2006 American Book Award. He is also the author of Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone (BOA Editions Ltd.),and author of Tahrir Suite: Poems (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press). With Kwame Dawes he is editor of Bearden's Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press).

Shenoda lectures widely and has taught extensively in the fields of ethnic studies and creative writing. The former Assistant Provost for Equity & Diversity and faculty in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts, Shenoda also served as Associate Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago and Dean of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Presently he is the Associate Provost for Social Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Literary Arts and Studies at Rhode Island School of Design. Additionally, Shenoda has served on the Board of Directors of several arts and education organizations and is a founding editor of the African Poetry Book Fund.



  • Bearden's Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden edited by Kwame Dawes and Matthew Shenoda, Northwestern University Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0810134-89-8
  • Tahrir Suite. Northwestern University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0810130241
  • Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone. BOA Editions. 2009. ISBN 978-1-934414-27-9.
  • Somewhere Else. Coffee House Press. 2005. ISBN 978-1-56689-173-8.


  • Sam Hamill; Sally Anderson, eds. (2003). "Enough". Poets against the War. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 978-1-56025-539-0.
  • Hayan Charara, ed. (2008). "Relics". Inclined to speak: an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry. University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 978-1-55728-867-7.
  • Frances Payne Adler; Debra Busman; Diana García, eds. (2009). Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-2793-9.
  • Camille T. Dungy; Matt O'Donnell; Jeffrey Thomson, eds. (2009). From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. Persea Books. ISBN 978-0-89255-348-8.
  • Melissa Tuckey, ed. (2018). Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820353159.


Matthew Shenoda's Somewhere Else is today's poetry--filled with the immediacy of contemporary concerns of the diasporic identity. As Shenoda brings alive the images of the ancient, pre-Islamic Coptic community of Egypt and transports them into the American landscape and consciousness, one can see him challenging the political rhetoric of a world divided into "us" and "them."[2]


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