Poet and literary scholar Evie Shockley F’07 has been named the winner of the 2023 Shelley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America. According to the organization’s website, the award recognizes “poetic genius and is bestowed upon one distinguished American poet each year.”

Each of Shockley’s poems is a document that says: I was here, and you were here, and together, we comprise an entity that occupied this moment. In that togetherness, there is hope, although hope forever tempered by the awareness that change is slow and sometimes illusive.

Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University. She was awarded an ACLS Fellowship in 2007 for her project “Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry.” Her books of poetry include suddenly we, semiautomatic, and the new black. Shockley has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and awarded the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, and the Holmes National Poetry Prize, among other honors.

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