Neil Shepard

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Neil Shepard
Born (1951-01-21) January 21, 1951 (age 66)
Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Notable awards First Series Award, 1992
MacDowell Fellow

Neil Shepard (January 29, 1951 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts) is an American poet, essayist, professor of creative writing, and literary magazine editor. He is a recipient of the 1992 Mid-List Press First Series Award for Poetry,[1] as well as a recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the MacDowell Colony.[2][3] He routinely participates in poetry reading events throughout the United States.[4][5]


Shepard received a BA from the University of Vermont, an MFA from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio University. He has taught at Louisiana State University, Rider University in New Jersey and Johnson State College in Vermont. He currently teaches in the low-residency MFA writing program at Wilkes University[6] and is Senior and Founding Editor of the literary magazine Green Mountains Review.[7] He has published several books of poetry to positive reviews,[8][9][10] and his poems and essays appear in such magazines as Antioch Review, AWP Chronicle, Boulevard, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Harvard Review, New American Writing, New England Review, North American Review, Ontario Review, Paris Review, Shenandoah, Small Press Reviews, Southern Review, TriQuarterly and Vermont Public Radio.[11][12][13]

Poetic Influences[edit]

Shepard's first creative writing teacher was David Huddle, poet and short story writer at the University of Vermont. Shepard studied with William Tremblay for his Master's work at Colorado State University and with Stanley Plumly, Wayne Dodd, and Paul Nelson for his doctoral work at Ohio University.[14][15]

His marriage to Kate Riley, linguistic anthropologist and fiction writer, introduced Shepard to the South Pacific, French language and French colonial culture. He accompanied Riley to the Marquesas Islands, where she conducted her fieldwork on language and culture, and eventually Shepard wrote the Marquesan poems that appear in his second book I'm Here Because I Lost My Way. The birth of his daughter also deeply affected his work. A section of poems called Birth Announcements appears in Shepard's third book, This Far from the Source.[16]

Other influences on Shepard's poetry include his many years playing piano and guitar, his love of jazz[17] and classical music, as well as extensive travel, including year-long sojourns in Shanghai, China (1991), the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific (1993), and France (2003).[11][16] Shepard’s fourth book of poetry, (T)ravel/Un(t)ravel, records these experiences abroad.[9] Shepard’s long association with Vermont is recorded in his fifth book, Vermont Exit Ramps, which mixes history, natural history, and personal history to investigate life along the highways of Vermont.[11][13][18]



  1. ^ "First Series Award". Mid-List Press. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Johnson State College: Writing & Literature Department Stories". Johnson State College. October 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "The MacDowell Colony - Index of MacDowell Fellows". MacDowell Colony. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sarasota FL - Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce - Neil Shepard, Poet". Sarasote Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Igloria, Luisa (April 10, 2008). "Poet Neil Shepard reads at Virginia Wesleyan College – Thursday April 10". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wilkes Neil Shepard". Wilkes University. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Masthead". Green Mountains Review. 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Freeman, John (July 26, 2007). "Naturally Gifted". Seven Days. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Davis, Todd (May 30, 2012). "(T)RAVEL/UN(T)RAVEL by Neil Shepard Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century". Rattle. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Davis, Todd. "Rattle e-Review: THIS FAR FROM THE SOURCE". Rattle. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c D, Ramola (Winter 2013). "Interview with Neil Shepard". Delphi Quarterly. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Burchfield, Dana (June 29, 2011). "Interview: Green Mountains Review". Portal del Sol. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Biello, Peter (November 2, 2012). ""Vermont Exit Ramps" As Poetic Inspiration". Vermont Public Radio. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Neil Shepard". Mid-List Press. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Guyton, Claire. "Visiting with Neil Shepard". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series. 102. Gale. December 2001. ISBN 9780787646110. 
  17. ^ "Johnson State College, Vermont - Writing & Literature - PoJazz". Johnson State College. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  18. ^

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