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Lee Sharkey


In 1974 I bought a hundred-year-old Pearl platen press, taught myself to set type and print, and produced over the course of a long Maine winter myfirst poetry chapbook. Over the next four years, under the imprint South Solon Press, I produced two more chapbooks of my own poetry, portfolios of other poets’ work, and ephemera such as poems on paper lunch bags.

Since then, I have continued to work both on and off the grid as a writer, teacher, and editor. My publications include six chapbooks and five full-length volumes: Walking Backwards (Tupelo Press, 2016), Calendars of Fire (Tupelo Press, 2013); A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid Press, 2008); To A Vanished World (Puckerbrush, 1995), a poem sequence in response to Roman Vishniac's photographs of Eastern European Jewry in the years just preceding the Nazi Holocaust; and farmwife (Puckerbrush Press, 1977),.

My recognitions include the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, the Abraham Sutzkever Centennial Award, the Maine Arts Commission's Individual Artist Fellowship in Literary Arts, the RHINO Editors' Prize, the Shadowgraph Poetry Prize, Zone 3's Rainmaker Award in Poetry, and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance's Distinguished Achievement Award. My poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, FIELD, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, The Pinch, Prairie Schooner, Seattle Review, and many other literary magazines. I am the senior editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal, one of the country's oldest and most respected poetry journals.