Glenn Shaheen

Glenn Shaheen (Fiction, Poetry) | New Orleans, LA

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Glenn Shaheen is the author of the poetry collection Predatory, which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and was the runner-up for the Norma Farber First Book Award. It is available from the University of Pittsburgh Press. He is also the author of the chapbook of flash fiction, Unchecked Savagery, available from Ricochet Editions. His second collection of poetry, Energy Corridor was published in 2016. He received an MFA from the University of Houston and a PhD from Western Michigan University. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Energy Corridor (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016). Poetry.
Unchecked Savagery (Ricochet Editions, 2013). Flash. Fiction.
Predatory (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“The American roller coaster of economic and psychologic inflation and deflation is Energy Corridor’s timely subject, the city of Houston its genius loci. Glenn Shaheen brings a laser eye to national, neighborly, and personal iniquities large and small, because ‘the direction I am trying to travel / is home.’ Through ‘measurements of stress, strata, fortune’ this book bristles and pops.”
–Dana Levin

“It’s a hard-to-accept fact: most poems written today barely matter, if at all. Glenn Shaheen’s do. That’s all you need to know.”
–Hayan Charara

“These miniature worlds celebrate the strange and the ordinary, burger shacks and full moons and a woman who has a crisis of faith over Soul Train. Glenn Shaheen blends the laugh-out-loud funny with a wistful wisdom so cutting you might feel a little bad that you laughed. ‘What children we are of disappointment and luxury,’ a character tells us, and the reader nods: disappointment in ourselves or our lovers or Soul Train, maybe, but never a moment of disappointment in these stories.”
–Caitlin Horrocks

“Glenn Shaheen is claiming new ground for American poetry. His poems are about the nightmares of information overload, collapsing infrastructure, ubiquitous violence, and other ills of late empire. The subjects are not happy, but Shaheen’s clear vision and crisp—often witty—language offer the pleasures of surprise, discovery, and recognition.”
—Ed Ochester

“Glenn Shaheen is sort of a genius at jimmying his spatula into the cracks of contemporary America—the places where the edges don’t quite fit together, where the not-so-funny throbs and baffles, a place where ‘the city grass is killed / by the same chemical in the water designed to keep / our teeth strong.’ And where a surgeon opens a patient’s heart and says ‘there’s a place a lot of love could exist.’ Shaheen’s comedy often goes beyond slapstick and the personal, into a realm of ominous narrative ambiguity that catches, in fact, the tragic nature of our time. Predatory makes a surprising and substantial addition to our literary tradition of the reckless, dead-serious-funny.”
—Tony Hoagland

“The narrator of these poems is subversive, vulnerable, maybe brilliant, seemingly offhand—he’s your best friend, he is what you fear. Each poem is thrillingly restless, yet the world revealed all seems so apocalyptically familiar, if you have been paying attention, if you have been even half awake. Predatory is a phenomenal first book—who knew a complete guide to catastrophe and mayhem could be so engaging?”
—Nick Flynn

“Thankfully, in Predatory, Glenn Shaheen’s souped-up debut, ‘There’s a tiger behind every door.’ All the great American myths are present. Star Trek. Saran Wrap. The Rothko Chapel. ‘A Pfizer truck T-boning a gasoline truck / in rush hour traffic.’ This is a disparate poetry of local access, end of days, old junk, all the evil in the animal kingdom. And that’s just the start. Shaheen chronicles exactly how it’s come to this: our twenty-first-century global chasm. These are poems for those of us among the unelected. In these pre-Rapturous days, Predatory is visionary.”
—Quan Barry

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