Kim Shuck


Kim Shuck embraces the fool and jester qualities of being a modern poet and artist. She is a devotee of San Francisco, whose hills she wanders nearly always on foot. Her maternal grandparents met at the Polish Hall on Shotwell and she spent many hours with her mother and grandmother wandering the Mission St. Miracle Mile, taking books out of the Mission Branch library and watching aquarium fish on the ground floor of what used to be Hale's. She firmly believes in carrying a bubble wand, keys, pen and notebook and cats cradle string at all times. Shuck is widely published in journals, anthologies and a couple of solo books. She enjoys volunteering in SFUSD elementary school classrooms to share her loves of origami, poetry and basket making... in other words, math of various kinds. In 2019 Shuck was awarded an inaugural National Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and a PEN Oakland Censorship Award. Source


In gratitude for all of it—theft, small pox, relocation and denial. Wa-do


We need to be stubborn for this work

Stubborn and loving.

The most difficult of lessons for me


Generous gifts

Are often given

By those who didn’t intend to give anything at all.


I call the slave master

Who lost track of my ancestor

A blanket for you

In gratitude.


I call the soldier

With a tired arm

Who didn’t cut deeply enough

Into my great great grandfather’s chest to kill clean.

I return your axehead

Cleaned and sharpened

May you wield it against others with equal skill.


Will the boarding school officer come up?

The one who didn’t take my Gram

Because of her crippled leg.

No use as a servant-such a shame with that face…


Finally the shopkeeper’s wife.

Who traded spoiled cans of fruit

For baskets that took a year each to make.

Thank you, Faith, for not poisoning

Quite all

Of my



Blankets for each of you,

And let no one say

That I am not

Grateful for your care. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Intersectionality & Culture

Memory & The Past

Racial Injustice

Strength & Resilience

Literary Devices:


an exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (typically one who is dead or absent) or thing (typically one that is personified)


a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme


the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect