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Poet Evie Shockley to Give Reading at Pomona College

Evie Shockley

Poet Evie Shockley will give a reading of her award-winning work on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 4:30 p.m. at Pomona College (Crookshank Hall Room 108, 140 W. Sixth St., Claremont).

Shockley is most recently the author of the new black (2011), the winner of the 2012 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award and Princeton University’s 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. The book was named among Library Journal’s Best Books of 2011 and awarded Honor Book in Poetry. In her work, she uses both experimental and traditional forms, free verse and formal structures.

Publishers Weekly says Shockley “uses an energetic mix of forms to channel a variety of poets' auras—from Lucille Clifton and Nikki Giovanni to Jayne Cortez and John Cage…she ranges over relatively conventional first-person memories (‘i was waiting on a poem when/ my grandfather pushed through the screen door’), a sad ‘cinder ella’ tale of being carded (‘her man's kiss did not revive her’), and the terse imagism of poems like ‘dear ink jet’: ‘black fast. greasy lightning./ won't smear. won't rub off.’”

Booklist writes, “Shockley takes a swinging approach to serious matters in her pirouetting poems.”

Shockley’s other works include 31 words * prose poems (2007), a half-red sea (2006) and The Gorgon Goddess (2001). Her poems were part of the Biko 30/30 exhibit, a commemoration of the life and work of 1960s and 1970s anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko, which toured South Africa in 2007.

Shockley teaches English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She was co-editor of the poetry journal jubilat from 2004-2007.

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