Past Issue: Matthew Shenoda


Winter/Spring 2020 |Matthew Shenoda | Vol. 3, Iss. 3

Welcome to The Fight & The Fiddle, a publication of the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University. Each issue gives you a 360-degree view of a Black poet, including an interview, new poems, a critical essay, and a writing prompt inspired by our featured poet. 


Award-winning poet Matthew Shenoda wears several hats. He is a professor and university administrator currently serving as Associate Provost for Social Equity and Inclusion, as well as Professor of Literary Arts and Studies at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he directs the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion. He is author of three collections of poetry, Somewhere Else (Coffee House Press, 2005), Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone  (BOA Editions, 2009), and Tahrir Suite: Poems (TriQuarterly Books, 2014). He is co-editor of Bearden’s Odyssey (TriQuarterly Books, 2017) and editor of Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems by Kwame Dawes (Copper Canyon Press, 2013). Shenoda is also a founder of the African Poetry Book Fund.


    • The Interview: Matthew Shenoda talks with editor Lauren K. Alleyne about writing, teaching, and how his ideas of home shape his work.
    • Critical Essay: Dr. Tsitsi Jaji walks us through the layers of language at work in Shenoda’s poetry in her piece “Geographies of Memory in Matthew Shenoda’s Lyrical Imagination.”
    • Poems: Read “Refuge,” “Revelation: Africa: Diaspora,” and “Local” by Matthew Shenoda
    • Writing Prompt: Myths are both timely and timeless. How might you play with time through mythology?


Matthew Shenoda reads “Oasis.”

Photo of Matthew Shenoda by Adriana Hammond. Winter/Spring 2020 cover design by Megan Hinton and Evan Nicholls.