Biography of Evie Shockley

Evie Shockley is an American poet. Shockley received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry for her book the new black and the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2018.

Early life

Shockley is originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Shockley received a BA from Northwestern University, studied law at the University of Michigan, and received and a PhD in English from Duke University.


Shockley teaches at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey. She published the book Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry in 2011. The book explores the poetics of the Black Arts Movement.

She has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow since 2013.


  • The Gorgon Goddess (Carolina Wren Press, 2001)
  • a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006)
  • 31 words * prose poems (Belladonna* Books, 2007)
  • the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2011, 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry)
  • semiautomatic (Wesleyan University Press, 2017)

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Poem of the day

Ernest Dowson Poem
Vain Hope
 by Ernest Dowson

Sometimes, to solace my sad heart, I say,
Though late it be, though lily-time be past,
Though all the summer skies be overcast,
Haply I will go down to her, some day,
And cast my rests of life before her feet,
That she may have her will of me, being so sweet
And none gainsay!


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