Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Matt Forrest Esenwine


Region: New England
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in my country
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:


A voiceover artist and commercial copy writer, Matt Forrest Esenwine has had several adult poems published in various independent collections around the country, including the Tall Grass Writers Guild’s Seasons of ChangeMetamorphosis Publishing's VisionsAssisi: Journal of Arts & Letters, The Licking River Review, Halcyon Magazine, and The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly, among others. In 2012 his poem, “Apple-Stealing,” was nominated by the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) for a Pushcart Prize.  

Matt’s children’s poetry can be found in numerous anthologies including Lee Bennett Hopkins’ Lullaby and Kisses Sweet (Abrams Appleseed, March 2015) and School People (Boyds Mills press, 2018); J. Patrick Lewis’ The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children’s Books, Sept. 2015) and The Poetry of Us (National Geographic, 2018); and Kenn Nesbitt’s One Minute Til Bedtime (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016), among others, as well as “Highlights for Children” magazine. 

His debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyd's Mills Press, Sept. 2017), received multiple positive reviews, including a starred review from Kirkus, and his second picture book, Don't Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids), co-written with Deborah Bruss, is due out April 17, 2018. Matt lives in NH and is currently working on several children's book manuscripts and poems.

Presentation Description:
For younger children, I like to help foster creativity and imagination - helping them to think and to learn basic skills of creative writing.

For middle-grade students, creativity and the basics of poetry go hand-in-hand as I explain how to use language to convey thoughts, images, and emotions.

In high school, the focus is more on poetry as a medium of expression; tools and concepts such alliteration, internal rhyme, and truth in writing are explored and developed.

All presentations are conducted with Common Core in mind and can be used specifically for Anchor Standards for Literature 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, and Anchor Standards for Writing 1, 3, and 5, depending on the particular age group and presentation.

I have also given presentations to adults on writing poetry and, specifically, free verse poetry.