From the river Nile to the teeming streets of Cairo, from the indigenous, pre-Islamic Egyptian Coptic civilization to an America struggling with its fear of the Arab world, Shenoda’s poems recall the sacred traditions of an ancient, enduring culture as they widen the political conversation surrounding ethnicity, pan-Africanism and pan-Arabism. This notable collection spans generational, political and cultural divides, providing a nuanced perspective virtually unknown in the West.
Matthew Shenoda is a Coptic poet influenced by jazz musicians and the writers of the Black Arts Movement. He teaches at San Francisco State University and works as a community and racial justice activist in the Bay Area. Widely anthologized, his articles, essays and poems have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Bloomsbury Review and Newsday.