Farid Matuk

Farid Matuk

He // Him // His, They // Them // Theirs

[ID: A black-and-white portrait of a middle-aged Syrian-Peruvian man with buzzed salt-and-pepper hair and mustache. He is wearing an Oxford button-down shirt and gazes out beyond the frame.]

Portrait photo by Roberto “Bear” Guerra.

Poet and Writer
Tucson, AZ
2024 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Poetry Foundation.

Born in Lima, Peru to a Peruvian father and Syrian mother, and preemptively kidnapped to escape his father’s violence, Farid Matuk has lived in the US since the age of six as an undocumented person, then a “legal” resident, and eventually as a “naturalized” citizen. Matuk is the author of the poetry collections This Isa Nice Neighborhood and The Real Horse. Their poems have appeared in BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Lana Turner, The Paris Review, and Poetry, among others. Matuk’s work has been supported with residencies and grants from the Headlands Center for the Arts and with a Holloway Visiting Professorship at UC Berkeley. Redolent, their book-arts collaboration with artist Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez, won the 2023 Anna Rabinowitz Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Matuk’s translation of Peruvian poet Tilsa Otta’s The Hormone of Darkness is forthcoming in 2024 from Graywolf Press.



Both the actual horse on fire and its event out of these words

Folded back through love
Trying not to be with but of

Like my friend Jeannie, the artist        who fucked photographic paper

Creased into petals around the trace of that touch

If I can concentrate on such sex art time
To crease the outside’s infinite regress,

When I’m dying

Actual dying      will be a fold about a flower fallen?     I know everyone wanted

Their stupid church high on a hill, but my favorite things –

Happy things I thought            drifting down into the sleep        and all the faces

That afflict – laid low, I could be the paper

They ravish or remember          and the end of their script