Evie Shockley


Evie Shockley is the author of two books of poetry, the new black (Wesleyan UP, 2011) and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006), and two chapbooks, 31 words * prose poems (Belladonna* Books, 2007) and The Gorgon Goddess(Carolina Wren Press, 2001). the new black won the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry and was also recognized by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2011 in Poetry and by the BCALA as a 2012 Honor Book in Poetry. Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Shockley has lived in a variety of states in the South, Midwest, and Northeast, but has yet to take up residence in any place west of the Mississippi River. She currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey and teaches African American literature and creative writing at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Source

black love

my love is black though my love is not black ::

think the darkness cradling the milky way ::

imagine quick light flowing down the back

of my throat, glowing—i swallow the day ::


my love is black, an absorbing array

of colors :: gold yolk escaping the cracked

shell :: a shiny silver moon-coin to play ::

a juicy peach, plump plums, cup of cognac ::


my love is black, the only way i know

to live :: now fierce and demanding, now free

and unpossessed :: so for my magnet, my

love becomes steel, then, for my butterfly,

will not a flower but a whole field be ::

my love and my blackness together go—





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships

Poetic Form

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession

Iambic Pentameter

a line of verse composed of five iambs– an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (u / u / u / u / u /) commonly used in the Renaissance period


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


A poem with fourteen lines that traditionally uses a fixed rhyme scheme and meter.

Varied Punctuation

diverse use of punctuation.