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.
Publisher: Coffee House Press, Minneapolis
Purchase Here: Somewhere Else on Amazon
Favorite Poems from this Book:
Excerpt of Somewhere Else
... There will come a day when they say: who do you think you are and another day will come for you to tell. On that day the story will appear but do not tell of yourself tell the story of the staff that blossomed in the desert or the one about your enemy’s greatest victory tell the story of somewhere else...Read This Poem
Excerpt of New Cairo
…I stand on the balcony, staring
Withdrawn from this poverty by a mere Generation,
Then I remember
Great Grandmother used to say:
“If you throw salt away
God will make you
Pick it up
One grain at a time
with your eyelashes”
Take a moment and just imagine what it would take to actually collect salt one grain at a time with your eyelashes. Yes, there would be tears, what an impossible task, you’d say. At first, I laughed at the idea of Great Grandmother’s statement, but then you think about it and it’s eye opening. If you’re desperate you’ll do it, right? You’ll find a way to collect that salt with your eyes, but what a painful process that would be. So, don’t throw away a good thing…hmm…
Mathew Shenoda’s thought-provoking Poetry = Stunning, Effortless Truths
Elly in Nairobi Thoughts
Mathew Shenoda writes poetry with a deep love for heritage and culture. There is always that sense of go back, think about where you come from, how it has shaped you, why you are this person today. I think this book reminds me to remember where am from and where I belong. Where is home? What does that word mean really?
Time changes, as it must, we all change, but even with change, stop and embrace what your past is, how you’ve gotten here. What were your ancestors’ hopes, one day you’ll be the one they’ll call ancestor. What do you want them to think of you?
Meet Mathew Shenoda at the Storymoja Hay Festival:
Masterclass: Critiquing & Editing Poetry
With: Matthew Shenoda (Egypt/USA) & Ladan Osman (Somalia/USA), Keguro Macharia (Kenya)
Time: Thur 18th September 2:30pm – 5:30pm
Venue: Nairobi National Museum @ the STORYMOJA FESTIVAL
About the Masterclass: POETRY DOCTORS
One of the most essential elements of poetry writing is the process of editing alongside self critique and peer critique. In this workshop we will examine various ways of conceptualizing work as a writer engages the writing process and as a way to gain a critical understanding of one’s own writing. We will then look at a rubric for editing and critiquing that helps the poet reach the aims they set out to achieve in their writing.