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April 4-6, 2025

Word of South

Brenda Shaughnessy

Born in Okinawa, Brenda Shaughnessy is an award-winning American poet. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, Shaughnessy has also received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission, and the Howard Foundation of Brown University. Her 2008 book Human Dark with Sugar won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. The Poetry Foundation says Shaughnessy’s “work is known for its ability to twin opposites: her poems are both playful and erotic, lyrical and funny, formal and strange.” She is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, where she also teaches in the MFA program.