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

because there should be love

there should be love poems. iridescent odes to skies

and their fluid, mutating blues, their restless canvases


where we cast the adjectives—brilliant, dark, deep, clear—  

that name our daily moods, ringing doubt and delight,

confusion and cheer, the brave lines we spit to spin


out the re-newed story of two lives winding themselves 

into joy. there should be lyrics that hit all the notes—do,

 mi, sol—in the scale, that belt them out as they arrive—

passionate, pushy, pulsating, unpredictable—breathing 


the whole—billie, abbey, ella—range of the torchlit heart. 

there should be love poems, star-sprung stanzas that try 


out the rough ballad of two lives lifting themselves 

higher together than apart: that sing it: breaking relief.

each waking, that the hours are ours to share: certainty


that silver-lines even cumulonimbus ire: the your hand

in my hand in your hand of right now, and from now on.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Joy & Praise

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


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

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses