Matthew Foley is an author, spoken word poet, writing coach, and creative entrepreneur in Charleston, South Carolina.
Matt’s journey into writing began as a young high school student in Columbia, South Carolina. Fueled by years of reading and listening to music, Matt began filling composition notebooks with poems, song lyrics, and short stories and dreamed of one day being a writer. In 2008, he graduated from the College of Charleston with degrees in English and Education, hoping to make his mark on the world through writing and inspiring young people to express themselves. This passion led Matt into the classroom, where he taught English and Creative Writing to both middle and high school students, most recently at the Charleston County School of the Arts. At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, Matt decided to leave the classroom to pursue his lifelong dream of being a full-time writer.
Since 2014, Matt has published three poetry collections: We Could Be Oceans (2014), The Typewriter Sutra (2015), and This One Breath (2017). His work has been featured in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and online publications. As a spoken word artist, Matt has performed his poetry at open mics, poetry slams, art festivals, and classrooms throughout the country and released a spoken word album in 2014 entitled What You Will Need in Class Today.
Matt is deeply committed to supporting the literary arts in his community and helping nurture aspiring writers. Matt serves on the board of directors of The Unspoken Word, a literary arts nonprofit which organizes open mics, poetry slams, and school workshops in the Charleston area. In 2014, he also founded Holy City Youth Slam, a youth arts program which offers free poetry events, workshops, and a summer writing camp for students ages 13-18.
In early 2017, Matt launched Contribute Your Verse, a writing coaching business that helps aspiring writers find their voice and share their creative gifts to the world. Through interactive workshops and one-on-one coaching, Matt helps clients accomplish their writing dreams, whether that be completing a manuscript of their novel, self-publishing a poetry book, starting a blog for their business, or summoning the courage to read their work at an open mic.
In all of his work, Matt is dedicated to using his love of language to help others, to improve our communities, and to make our lives more meaningful through self-expression and creativity. As the great poet Walt Whitman once wrote, “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”
- Post and Courier: Bridging the Cultural Divide, The Unspoken Word Unites Charleston Through Poetry
- Charleston City Paper: Local Poet Matt Foley Talks About the Power of Words
- Charleston Magazine: Poetry for All
- Charleston Grit: Cultural Curators – The Unspoken Word
- The Post & Courier: The Poet-Performers
- CofC Today: Alumnus is Changing Lives One Poem at a Time
- Art Mag: Literary Profile
- Art Mag: Favorite Literary Artist
- Cistern Yard: Charleston’s Next Top Poet
- CofC English Department Folio: Making It, Local
- Wake Zine: Poetry Spotlight
- Echo Chamberz: What You Will Need in Class Today Review
- Gather Yoga: Poems to Power Your Practice
- IndieFeed Performance Poetry: The First Day of School
- SC Book Festival: Author Profile