Mohamed Metwalli was recognized as a poet in the Arab world at a young age. Shortly after his degree in 1992 from the English department of Cairo University, his volume, Once Upon a Time, won the Yussef El-Khal prize for the best first collection by a poet in the Arab-speaking world, conferred by the Lebanese publishers, Riad El-Rayyes Books. He co-founded an independent literary magazineEl-Garad, in which his second book appeared: The Story the People Tell, Here, in the Harbor and, in 1997, he was selected to represent Egypt in the International Writers' Program at the University of Iowa. The year after, he served as Poet-in-Residence at the University of Chicago. Metwalli compiled and co-edited an anthology of Off-beat Egyptian Poetry, Angry Voices, for the University of Arkansas Press in 2002. His third collection, The Lost Promenades, was published in 2010 by Al-Ketaba Al-Okhra, and A Song by the Aegean Sea came out in 2015 with Afaq Publishers. His poetry has been translated into French, German, and English, and his own translations have appeared widely in literary journals. In 2018 he was commissioned by the British Museum to render their conference publication, Asyut, Guardian City, into Arabic.