Shara McCallum

Shara McCallum

Fellow: Awarded 2023
Field of Study: Poetry

Competition: US & Canada

From Jamaica, and born to a Jamaican father and Venezuelan mother, Shara McCallum is the author of six books published in the US and UK. Her most recent, No Ruined Stone, won the 2022 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 UNT Rilke Prize. McCallum’s poems and essays have appeared in journals, anthologies, and textbooks throughout the US, Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. La historia es un cuarto/History is a Room, an anthology of her poems translated into Spanish by Adalber Salas Hernández, was published in 2021 in Mexico.

In addition to Spanish, McCallum’s poems have been translated into French, Italian, Romanian, Turkish, and Dutch and set to music by composers Marta Gentilucci and Gity Razaz. Awards for her work include the Silver Musgrave Medal from the Jamaican government, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the US Library of Congress, and an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, among others. McCallum is an Edwin Erle Sparks Professor at Penn State University and a faculty member in the Pacific University Low-Residency MFA Program. From 2021-22, she served as the Penn State Laureate.

Photo Credit: Shara McCallum

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