Matthew Newton is a writer, author, and editor from Western Pennsylvania, where he lives in the Electric Valley with his wife and two young sons. He has written essays, many about class and culture, for Guernica, The Oxford American, and The Rumpus, and his reporting has appeared in The Atlantic, Esquire, Forbes, and Spin. He has been awarded grants and fellowships from Creative Capital, Staunton Farm Foundation, Creative Nonfiction, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. His debut nonfiction book, Shopping Mall, was published by Bloomsbury in September 2017.
He is currently the director of publishing at Carnegie Museum of Art, where he manages all editorial, design, photographic, and multimedia content for the museum, including exhibitions, books, and special projects. In 2014, Newton founded Storyboard, the institution’s award-winning digital journal. He also serves on the editorial board for Looking at Appalachia, a documentary archive that explores the diversity of the region 50 years after the declaration of the War on Poverty.
Newton was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the late 1970s, just as the steel industry was starting to collapse. Growing up in a city long defined by its postindustrial malaise left an indelible impression. Against a backdrop of blast furnaces gone cold, shuttered storefronts, and dilapidated houses, the city’s environment instilled him with a fascination for cycles of decline and rebirth as they relate to larger themes of place and personal identity. It also inspired a fascination with the broader social, cultural, and economic realities of life in the Rust Belt. As a result, these issues are prevalent in much of his work.