Somewhere Else

Poems by Matthew Shenoda, with an introduction by Sonia Sanchez

April 1, 2005 • 6 x 9 • 84 pages • 978-1-56689-173-6

A compelling debut collection from the first Coptic poet to be published in the United States.

Somewhere Else, rooted in the traditions of the Coptic community, widens the political conversation surrounding ethnicity, pan-Africanism, and pan-Arabism. From the teeming streets of Cairo to the urban United States, from Egypt’s indigenous, pre-Islamic Coptic society to an America struggling with its fear of the Arab world, Shenoda’s collection spans generational and cultural divides. In poems both personal and political, he celebrates his Coptic heritage, riffs on jazz and hip-hop, and offers a nuanced and energized perspective virtually unknown in the West.

About the Author

Matthew Shenoda is a Coptic poet who teaches at San Francisco State University and works as a community and racial justice activist in the Bay Area. His articles, essays, and poems have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsday, and the anthologies: From Invisibility to Visibility: The Racialization of Arab Americans before and after September 11th and Poets Against The War.


“This book holds the keys to our present global predicament—each word is a star in our night.” —Juan Felipe Herrera