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Airea Dee Matthews a Poetry Finalist for L.A. Times Book Prize

March 5, 2024
The book cover of Bread and Circus

Update:  Matthews won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Bread and Circus on April 19.

Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Creative Writing Airea Dee Matthews is a Los Angeles Times Book Prizes poetry finalist for her book of poems Bread and Circus.

The book by Matthews, Philadelphia's 2022–2023 poet laureate, is an autobiographical collection of poems about the economics of class and was described as "discerning and significant" by the Poetry Foundation. 

The finalists for the prizes were chosen by a panel of writers from that genre. The awards ceremony will take place on April 19, on the eve of the L.A. Times Festival of Books. 

Bread and Circus was published in 2023 by Simon & Schuster. Matthews' first collection of poems is the critically acclaimed Simulacra, which won the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Poetry, The New York TimesBest American Poets, and elsewhere. Matthews holds a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania as well as an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and an MPA from the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, both at the University of Michigan. She is also a Pew Fellow.