Matthew Charles is an inspirational poet


Photo by Zebadiah Potter

Matthew Charles holds his book “You Cannot Burn the Sun.”

Eimy Gonzalez, Assistant Editor

Talent is a well-known attribute of the human condition. Every individual has a spark, with the ability to make an impact within themselves as well as around their community, or as far as they will let it. When the realization comes, sooner or later, of what this gift may be, it will simply change your life and touch others. That is what happened to Matthew Charles, a poet. 

For Charles, his gift manifested at a very young age and with the opportunities that presented themselves throughout the years, he became fluent at filling his words with meaning and inspiring others.   

Matthew Charles
Author Matthew Charles uses his poetry to inspire others. (Photo by Zebadiah Potter)

However, to inspire others and, more importantly, to feel inspired yourself, there sometimes needs to be growth and a pursuit of strength to overcome every obstacle that crosses your way. 

Charles committed to writing as a 13-year-old, when he was exposed to rap. From rap, he learned that through music you could communicate distinct ideas about things that matter, such as politics and world problems. This usage of words inspired Charles and made him passionate about following this career for the rest of his life. 

However, as an unfortunate turn of events, when Charles turned 17, he lost his voice. For three years, he lived in silence with no clear diagnosis or treatment of what may have happened. Once he regained his voice, it was not the same and he had to give up rapping. 

Yet, even if his voice became limited, Charles transitioned his passion into something different. He fought on with bravery, jumped the hurdles and became a spoken word artist. Writing, according to Charles, saved him, but he had to endure much hardship for the sake of pursuing his given talent. 

“The word passion doesn’t just mean loving something, it means loving something so much you are willing to suffer for it,” said Charles. “Without this expression, this tool, I don’t even know who I would be at this point. I can’t imagine a Matthew that is not also a writer.” 

This became a turning point in Charles’ life. With more years at hand, he began turning more to politics and gained a feeling of responsibility to do something with what he was doing. However, being conscious that speaking up presented certain threats. This became crucial as writing soon became an opportunity to turn inward to learn more about himself, his feelings, and social-political realities. 

During the summer of 2020, with the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted from the loss of George Floyd’s life, among others, Charles took his place among the community of Black leaders, artists, and spokespersons that now, as always, have called on racial justice. He began an Instagram series called BLACK, with the purpose of being a new and different source of information of the racial injustice that was seen in the summer as well as throughout the years. He saw what was happening and though, “what is my social responsibility in this movement, right now.” Charles did not see himself as an organizer, but he knew that he could tell a story. 

His Instagram series grew well beyond what he expected. After writing about 24 poems in one sitting, Charles realized that this endeavor had to take another route. It was a this point that he decided to gather these poems and create an enlightening book called, “You Cannot Burn the Sun.” 

As with any endeavor, Charles began by beginning, he made a crowdfunding campaign on Facebook. He was looking forward to a couple of hundred dollars that would suffice the printing of his book, but was astonished by the support he received, which exceeded his expectations. He received thousands of dollars to fund his project and soon became a first-time author and sold about 500 copies just from the pre-orders. This was an important point for his career, he came to the full realization that he is an artist. 

Charles writes his poems with intent and excellence; he makes them perdure and make an impact in his community. This is what solidified his decision to continue creating and exploring different ways for people to interact with what he does. 

Charles no longer resides in Madison, to grow as a poet and author he had to leave his life here behind to find what is right for his career. Nevertheless, when Charles is in town, he is well remembered for the work he has done.  He has inspired people with his writing, letting them see for themselves things that they did not know were there. 

There is a bright future for this poet and author. As he navigates though the industry and continues to grow, his audience can sit at the edge of their seats and witness greatness in the making. People can expect another book to come soon. There is some degree of mystery to Charles’ persona. Follow his every move for spoilers, great poems, and inspiration. 

You can find him through Instagram as @matthewcharlespoet as well as in YouTube as Matthew Charles.