Reginald Shepherd

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This article is about the American poet. For the Canadian artist, see Reginald Shepherd (artist).

Reginald Shepherd (April 10, 1963 – September 10, 2008) was an American poet, born in New York City and raised in the Bronx.[1] He died of cancer in Pensacola, Florida, in 2008.


Shepherd, African-American and gay,[1] graduated from Bennington College in 1988, and received MFAs from Brown University and the University of Iowa, where he attended the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop. He subsequently taught at Northern Illinois University and Cornell University. In his last year at the University of Iowa, he received the "Discovery" prize from the 92nd Street Y, and his first collection, Some Are Drowning (1994), was chosen by Carolyn Forché for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs' Award in Poetry.

His other collections include: Fata Morgana (2007), winner of the Silver Medal of the 2007 Florida Book Awards; Otherhood (2003), a finalist for the 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Wrong (1999); and Angel, Interrupted (1996).

He is also the author of A Martian Muse: Further Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (published posthumously in 2010), Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (2007) and the editor of The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (2004) and of Lyric Postmodernisms (2008).

His work has been widely anthologized, including in four editions of The Best American Poetry and two Pushcart Prize anthologies. His honors and awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the Florida Arts Council, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His 2008 book of essays, Orpheus in the Bronx, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.[2]





  • The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press, 2004)
  • Lyric Postmodernisms (Counterpath Press, 2008)


  1. ^ a b Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008). The Poetry Foundation.
  2. ^

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