Matthew Burgess was born in Southern California. The youngest of five siblings, he inherited a respectable collection of books, and Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends might have been the most formative on the shelf. He was mesmerized by the poems and illustrations, and he remembers staring at the photo of the author himself, bearded and barefoot in a rocking chair, and dreaming of becoming a poet one day.

After graduating from college, Matthew’s first job was teaching “language arts” for a summer enrichment program in San Francisco, and he has been teaching creative writing to young people ever since. He became a poet-in-residence with Teachers & Writers Collaborative in 2001, and for the past sixteen years, he's been writing poems and publishing student anthologies with thousands of elementary school kids throughout the city. It was here, in the first and second grade classrooms of New York, where he became inspired to write books for children. 

Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings, Matthew’s first picture book, was published by Enchanted Lion Books. It has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, and The Huffington Post calls it “a treasure for both fans of Cummings, as well as those discovering his poetry for the first time." He is also the author of a poetry collection, Slippers for Elsewhere, and he recently edited an anthology of writing and visual art titled Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space.

Matthew received a BA in English from the University of Virginia, an MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College, and a PhD in Literature from The CUNY Graduate Center. He is an Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College, where he teaches literature and creative writing.

Matthew Burgess is represented by Elena Giovinazzo.
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