Evie Shockley Lecture
The Zabel Lectures series presents an online lecture by Evie Shockley, Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University. 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) was a 2023 finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. Among her earlier books, the new black (Wesleyan UP) received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and semiautomatic (Wesleyan UP) received the same award in 2018, and was also a finalist that year for the LA Times Book Review Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. Professor Douglas Kearney will moderate the event.
Shockley's 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; and Boston Review, among others. Since 2021, she has served as Editor for Poetry (scholarship) at Contemporary Literature.
Shockley's poetry has appeared in publications such as 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. 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.