The Selected Shepherd: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) (Hardcover)

The Selected Shepherd: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) By Reginald Shepherd, Jericho Brown (Editor) Cover Image

The Selected Shepherd: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) (Hardcover)

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Drawing from all six of his collections, The Selected Shepherd offers a new retrospective on the work of an important and sometimes controversial Black, gay poet. Although well known for his erotic poems about white men, Shepherd also wrote consistently about the natural world and its endangerment and his grief over his mother’s death. Presented in both publication order and the order in which they originally appeared within each collection, these poems highlight the most important themes of Shepherd’s work, along with both his predictability and unpredictability as a poet. Jericho Brown’s introduction provides additional context and insight on the life and work of this complex, groundbreaking figure in American poetry. 

Reginald Shepherd (1963–2008) was a Black, gay poet who grew up in the Bronx and went on to receive two MFAs, one from Brown University and one from the Iowa Writers Workshop. He authored two collections of poetry criticism and six poetry collections, all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press: Red Clay Weather, Fata Morgana, Otherhood, Wrong, Angel, Interrupted, and Some Are Drowning. His work has been widely awarded and anthologized and has appeared in four editions of The Best American Poetry and two Pushcart Prize anthologies. Shepherd received many awards and honors over his career, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. 

Jericho Brown is author of The Tradition, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of the Whiting Award. Brown’s first book, Please, won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection, The Tradition, won the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program and a professor at Emory University. 

Product Details ISBN: 9780822948216
ISBN-10: 0822948214
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication Date: April 9th, 2024
Pages: 168
Language: English
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
“In an age when poets often vanish from larger cultural memory shortly after their last breath, this selected compendium, published fifteen years after Shepherd’s passing, is a true feat of treasure and salvage, ensuring that one of the most vibrant and charged voices of our young twenty-first century stays alive.”
—Ocean Vuong, author of Time is a Mother and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
 

“The extraordinary Reginald Shepherd remains both a tidal force and an enigmatic planet in contemporary poetry and in legendary Pitt Poetry Series editor Ed Ochester’s vast constellation of stars. The brilliant Jericho Brown has distilled Shepherd’s magnificence—a style born of the Bronx, rural Georgia, Iowa City, Eliot’s Waste Land, and Orpheus’s underworld—to a dynamic, essential volume. The Pitt Poetry Series is proud to present this landmark compilation.”
—Terrance Hayes, author of So to Speak and coeditor, Pitt Poetry Series
 

“The discovery of Reginald Shepherd’s poetry—in an envelope, with a letter and a stamped self-addressed return—was among the highest points of my five years as editor of the Kenyon Review. Of course his poems were published, and a correspondence, a friendship ensued. His premature death was devastating. Rereading these poems, I follow the arc of their music, wit, erudition, narrative, tragedy: the chronicle of an exemplary (Black, gay, American, polymath out of the projects) life, but first of all, I admire, am in a bit of awe of, and thoroughly enjoy them.” 

Marilyn Hacker, author of Calligraphies