Shannon Matesky was the 2012 DePaul Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.
Shannon hails from Berkeley, California where she began as one of the youngest poetry slam champions in the Bay Area, at age 14. Shannon has since been apart of Brave New Voices College Tour, the final season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and numerous stages across the country as a poet and actress. She has performed with many talents such as Talib Kweli, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Danny Hoch, Rachel McKibbens, George Watsky, Rafael Casal and countless others. Shannon also features in the award winning documentary 2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry (Corduroy Media) and is author of her first solo play She Think She Grown.
An alumni of Depaul University’s Theatre School, Shannon holds a BFA in Acting. Some of her theatrical credits include, A Raisin in the Sun (Merle Reskin), Electricidad (Merle Reskin), Welcome to Arroyo’s (ATC), Chicagoland and Hit The Wall (The Inconvenience), Sonnets for An Old Century (UrbanTheatre Co.), Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses (The Hypocrites) and The March (Steppenwolf Theatre). Shannon also assisted Chuck Smith in directing Race by David Mamet at the Goodman Theatre. Shannon is signed with Paonessa Talent Agency.
Shannon is also an activist and teacher that encourages forward movement toward enlightenment of consciousness. She works independently to develop curriculums that fit the demands of the current youth culture. Shannon has worked for organizations such as Young Chicago Authors, Youth Speaks, Step-Up Women’s Network, Kuumba Lynx and others, aiding young adults in technical and life skills.