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Airea D. Matthews

Piper Writers Studio Instructor 2021

About Airea D. Matthews

“Matthews’s writing is bold, innovative and complex.” —Washington Post

Airea D. Matthews’ first collection of poems is the critically acclaimed Simulacra, which received the prestigious 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. The collection explores the topics of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Matthews received the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and was awarded the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from the 2016 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. New Yorker critic Dan Chiasson describes Matthews’s experimental forms in Simulacra as “Fugues, text messages to the dead, imagined outtakes from Wittgenstein, tart mini-operas, fairy tales: Matthews is virtuosic, frantic, and darkly, very darkly, funny.” A Cave Canem Fellow and a Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, Matthews is a founding member of the Riven collective along with Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela and Cynthia Dewi Oka. Her work has appeared in Best American Poets 2015, American Poets, The Rumpus, Four Way Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Matthews earned an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Matthew’s current projects include a second book, under/class, which seeks to lyrically deconstruct the accepted narratives around poverty and class. She is an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College where she directs the creative writing program. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.

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