Evie Shockley is the author of three books of poetry—semiautomatic (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry; the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2011), winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006)—as well as a critical monograph, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2011). Specializing in 20th-century African American literature, contemporary poetry and poetics, and black studies, she is a professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
During her year at the Radcliffe Institute, Shockley is working on a book-length long poem in which a group of people, after confronting a barely averted environmental apocalypse, must grapple with what it means to be human in a dramatically changed world.
Shockley’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library and the American Council of Learned Societies. Her honors include the Stephen Henderson Award, for outstanding achievement in poetry, and the Theodore H. Holmes ’51 and Bernice Holmes National Poetry Prize. She holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School and a PhD in English from Duke University.