UCSC alumna receives award from Academy of American Poets

Brenda Shaughnessy (Photo by Sylvia Plachy)

The Academy of American Poets has honored UCSC alumna Brenda Shaughnessy with the 2007 James Laughlin Award, which gives $5,000 for the most outstanding second book by an American poet published in the previous year.

Shaughnessy, who earned a B.A. in literature/creative writing from UCSC in 1991, received the award for her collection Human Dark with Sugar, published by Copper Canyon Press.

Her first book of poems, Interior with Sudden Joy, was nominated for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Lambda Literary Award, and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Shaughnessy is also the recipient of a Bunting Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission Artist Fellowship.

Shaughnessy's poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Bomb, Boston Review, Conjunctions, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, the Paris Review, and the Yale Review. She is the poetry editor at Tin House magazine and currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University and Eugene Lang College at the New School.