• Evie Shockley
  • Evie Shockley
  • Director of Creative Writing & Writers House/Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English
  • Click for website
  • CV: EESCV_2022.pdf
  • Office: Murray Hall | Room 202 | CAC
  • Phone: (848) 932-7909
  • Bio:

    Professor Evie Shockley is the author of Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (U Iowa P, 2011) and six collections of poetry, most recently suddenly we (Wesleyan UP, 2023). Among her earlier books, the new black (Wesleyan UP, 2011) received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; semiautomatic (Wesleyan UP, 2017) received the same award in 2018, and was also a finalist that year for the LA Times Book Review Prize and the Pulitzer Prize.

    Shockley's intellectual and creative work takes a variety of forms. Her current research on "Black Graphics" concerns the strategies Black poets and other artists (literary and visual) have employed during the recent period characterized by the dominance of "colorblindness" ideology. Articles related to this project have appeared in New Literary History, The Black Scholar, and Contemporary Literature. Other scholarly and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century African American and African Diaspora literatures, Black feminist thought, and contemporary poetry and poetics in the US and beyond. She has placed numerous essays on these subjects in academic journals, edited volumes, and broader audience publications, such as How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice, and Skill; Furious Flower: Seeding the Future; The New Emily Dickinson Studies; Harriet; The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of Our Time; LARB; Literary Hub; The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry; Jacket2; and Boston Review, among others. Since 2021, she has served as Editor for Poetry (scholarship) at Contemporary Literature. Her poetry has appeared nationally -- in publications like Kenyon Review, Obsidian, Poem-a-Day, The 1619 Project, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Adi, Lana Turner, Ploughshares, The Best American Poetry, The Paris Review, Torch Literary Arts, and Poetry Daily -- and internationally, with pieces translated into French, Spanish, Polish, and Slovenian. Honors for the body of her poetry include the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Stephen Henderson Award, and the Holmes National Poetry Prize.       From her teaching philosophy: "In my classroom, I make every effort to show students clearly how passionate I am about the texts and ideas I'm teaching—how much a poem, a novel, or a literary movement can mean to me and many others.  They appreciate this, I think, in part because it gives them permission to feel passionate about their own relationships to texts, in turn.  When that sense of the power of literature is circulating in the room, it makes it much easier for me to make palpable for them the historical and cultural significance of the works, on one hand, or to convince them of the importance of a line break or an element of plot, on the other.  What I appreciate most is that this becomes a feedback loop, wherein my own experience of texts that have become too familiar from frequent teaching is reenergized by the enthusiasms (or engaged resistance) my students express."