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Charif Shanahan

Assistant Professor of English


Charif Shanahan (he/him), Assistant Professor of English, is a poet, essayist, and translator. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Trace Evidence (Tin House, 2023), and Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (SIU Press, 2017), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle's Thom Gunn Award.

Shanahan’s poems appear in American Poetry ReviewThe NationThe New Republic, The New York Times MagazineThe New Yorker, PBS NewsHour, Poetry, and Yale Reviewamong other journals. His work has been anthologized in American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time (Graywolf Press, 2018), Furious Flower’s Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (Northwestern, 2019), and African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (Library of America, 2020).

For his work, he is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; the Wallace Stegner Fellowship and the Jones Lectureship at Stanford University; a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to Morocco; the Gregory Pardlo Fellowship from the Frost Place; and residency fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts, La Maison Baldwin in St Paul, France, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, among other awards and recognitions.

Originally from the Bronx, Shanahan holds an AB in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing from Princeton University; an AM in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation from Dartmouth College; and an MFA in Poetry from NYU's Graduate Creative Writing Program. Former Programs Director of the Poetry Society of America, he has taught literature, creative writing, and language at California College of the Arts (CCA), the Collegio di Milano (Italy), New York University, and Stanford University.

He is currently at work on his third collection of poems, as well as a creative non-fiction project that explores questions of mixed-race identity in the contemporary US; Blackness in the Maghreb; and the transnational dimensions of racial experience. 

Photo credit: Justin Hoch


Poetry & Poetics, Creative Writing


Trace Evidence: poems
Trace Evidence: poems (Tin House Books, forthcoming 2023)
Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing
Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing  (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017)

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