|Region:||New England (CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME)|
|Age Levels:||5-10, 11-13, and 14-17|
|Will Travel:||Anywhere in my country|
|SCBWI Profile:||Member Profile|
Matt's debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyd's Mills & Kane, 2017), received multiple positive reviews including a starred review from Kirkus, and was selected by the NY Public Library as one of the "100 Best Books for Kids 2017." His second picture book, Don't Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids, 2018), co-written with Deborah Bruss, was praised by Booklist for its "rollicking rhyme" and was chosen by NH Parenting magazine as a 2018 Summer Reading List suggestion. Next up: Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, March 2021), co-written with Charles Ghigna (aka, Father Goose). Matt has 8 additional books scheduled for release between 2021-2022.
Meanwhile, his children’s poetry can be found in numerous anthologies including Lee Bennett Hopkins’ Night Wishes (Eerdmans, 2020), Lullaby and Kisses Sweet (Abrams Appleseed, March 2015), School People and Construction People (Wordsong, 2018 / 2020), and I Am Someone Else (Charlesbridge, 2019); J. Patrick Lewis’ The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry and The Poetry of Us (National Geographic, 2015 / 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.
Matt has also had several adult poems published in various independent collections around the country including the Donald Hall tribute anthology, Except for Love (Encircle, 2019), and in 2012 his poem, “Apple-Stealing,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2019 he was the recipient of the MacGregor Poetry Prize, coordinated by the Robert Frost Farm board of trustees and Derry (NH) Public Library.
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. Many of the poetic devices, techniques, and skills one learns through poetry (e.g., perspective, point of view, understanding ones subject) can be applied to other areas of writing, so rhyme and poetic form may or may not enter the discussion.
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. I welcome the opportunity to chat with you!