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Life of a Poet: Brenda Shaughnessy

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Guess what, friends? After a two-month breather, PLC programs are back in action!

Brenda Shaughnessy (Photo credit: Sylvia Plachy)
Brenda Shaughnessy (Photo credit: Sylvia Plachy)

To kick off our 2017 season, we welcome award-winning poet Brenda Shaughnessy to the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital on Tuesday, February 7, at 7:00 PM, as part of the Life of a Poet series. Now in its fourth year, the Life of a Poet series offers behind-the-scenes conversations between some of the country’s MVPs (Most Valuable Poets, of course) and Ron Charles of The Washington Post’s Book World. Not only do audience members get to see and hear the featured poet read their work aloud; they are also privy to an intimate conversation that deeply navigates a wide range of topics that weave through the poet’s work and personal life. And just a warning: Ron Charles is a pro, so we recommend bringing some tissues.

Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan, and grew up in Southern California. Her newest poetry collection, So Much Synth, just came out this past spring from Copper Canyon Press. She is also the author of Interior with Sudden Joy (1999), Human Dark with Sugar (2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Our Andromeda (2012), a New York Times Book Review “100 Notable Books of 2013.”

Shaughnessy has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, where she was a Bunting Fellow, the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission, and the Howard Foundation of Brown University. She has taught at Columbia University, the New School, Princeton University, and New York University, and is currently an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark.

We’re thrilled to invite Brenda Shaughnessy back for another PLC-sponsored event. In 2013, as part of Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s “Necessary Utterance: Poetry as Cultural Force” event commemorating her historical year as laureate, Shaughnessy read her work alongside poets Marilyn Chin, Patricia Smith, Brian Turner, and Kevin Young.

We hope you’ll join us for this upcoming reading and conversation, which is sure to start off our 2017 season on the perfect foot.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our spring events, with even more to come. Stay tuned!