Matthew Ferrence wandered away from his birthplace in southwestern Pennsylvania to live in the high desert of southern Arizona, then in the urban cultural center of Paris, France. Pulled by shared geographies of their home Appalachians, he and his wife returned to the Laurel Highlands, settled there, became unsettled, then settled again in Northwestern Pennsylvania at the confluence of Appalachia and the Rust Belt.
His essays have appeared in literary magazines across North America, with recent work appearing in The Fiddlehead, Gettysburg Review, and Best American Travel Writing 2018. He is the author of two books, the latest – Appalachia North: A Memoir – an inquiry into exiles of self and region, precipitated by the curious cultural position of being from Northern Appalachia and by the difficult personal reckoning that comes in the aftermath of the diagnosis and treatment of a brain tumor.
He teaches writing and literature at Allegheny College, serves as a visiting faculty member in the West Virginia Wesleyan Low Residency MFA program, and with his family divides time between between northwestern Pennsylvania and Prince Edward Island, Canada.