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  • 3rd Annual Mary Lynn Ellis Poetry Program with Airea D. Matthews

3rd Annual Mary Lynn Ellis Poetry Program with Airea D. Matthews

The Mary Lynn Ellis Poetry Program presents

Airea D. Matthews

Thursday, February 15

7 to 9 p.m.

Muller Auditorium


The Mary Lynn Ellis Poetry Program at Abington Friends School has invited the incredible poet laureate of Philadelphia Airea D. Matthews to the Jenkintown school’s campus. After speaking with the AFS community and conducting a workshop with our Upper School students during the school day, Matthews will host an evening poetry reading open to the public .

From her website: “Airea D. Matthews’ first collection of poems is the critically acclaimed Simulacra, which received the prestigious 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. The collection explores longing, desire, and inheritance with power, insight, and intense emotion. New Yorker critic Dan Chiasson describes Matthews’s experimental forms as, “Fugues, text messages to the dead, imagined outtakes from Wittgenstein, tart mini-operas, fairy tales: Matthews is virtuosic, frantic, and darkly, very darkly, funny.” Matthews is also the author of Bread and Circus (Scribner US and Picador UK, 2023), a memoir-in-verse that is a bold poetic reckoning with the realities of class and race and their intergenerational effects.”

You can see her interviewed on PBS News Hour here.

The event is open to the public.

Register for an event at AFS


The Mary Lynn Ellis Poetry Program was created to honor a beloved AFS faculty member, Mary Lynn Ellis P’01 P’03, who retired in June 2020. During her time at AFS, Mary Lynn’s love of reading, writing, reciting and analyzing poetry has inspired countless students and colleagues to find their inner voice and discover the power of their written words. This program is fully-funded by anonymous donors and will include on-going collaboration with each selected poet throughout the course of a school year.

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