The Rumpus includes The Explosive Expert’s Wife on its “What to Read” list for 2018. The Week features it on “21 Books to Read in 2018.”

The Poem’s Country, a collection of essays co-edited with poet Bruce Snider and forthcoming from Pleiades Press, is now available for pre-order.

Copper Nickel publishes two poems in its most recent issue and features “Plausible Deniability” online.

The Explosive Expert’s Wife
, Shara’s second collection of poetry, is available for pre-order from University of Wisconsin Press.

The Kenyon Review publishes “Letter to Bruce in Paradise, Indiana,” as well as an interview about epistolary poetry and “Letter to Rania in Amman.”


FSG features Shara’s conversation with Frank Bidart in Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016.

Shara joins the Steering Committee of Oxford Writers’ House.


“On the Poetry of Japanese Painting”: with Paula Bohince at LitHub.


The Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen & Robert Atwan, lists “Point Blank” as a Notable Essay.

Still Life with Poem: 100 Natures Mortes, which includes “Less the Shadow,” is now available from Literary House Press.


“Vertigo: Boston / The Middle East” has been honored with the 2015 Patricia Aakhus Award for the best work across all genres appearing in Southern Indiana Review for the given year.


Essay on ex-pat life in Jordan forthcoming in Cincinnati Review.

“Letter to Bruce in Paradise, Indiana” is a finalist for Poetry Society of America’s George Bogin Memorial Award.


Poet Rochelle Hurt’s insightful commentary on “The Clinic Bomber’s Mother” is online. Read the poem here.


A feature on “The Poem’s Country,” a collection of essays Shara is co-editing with poet Bruce Snider, debuts at West Branch.


“The Ugly American” receives the 2015 Erika Mumford Prize from The New England Poetry Club.


“Things Green” will appear in Tinderbox Edition’s forthcoming anthology of lyric essays.


The National Endowment for the Arts awards Shara a 2015 Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry.

“In Jordan’s Northernmost Province” will apear in Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Poetry Justice Anthology (University of Georgia).


“Point Blank,” an essay on guns, mental illness, and forgiveness appears in the Winter 2015 issue of Gettysburg Review.

“Devotions: Coming Out on Matters of Faith,” originally part of Southern Humanities Review’s contemporary poetry symposium, will be reprinted in The Orison Anthology Vol. 1 (Orison Books).


“Aubade: Amman,” from Colorado Review, runs at Poetry Daily.


“Take My Yoke Upon You: Poets & (Dis)Belief”: on Katie Ford, Malachi Black, and Spencer Reece.


Southern Humanities Review names Shara runner-up for the 2014 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize honoring the late Jake Adam York.

New poems and a lyric essay forthcoming in Colorado Review, Hampden-Sydney Review, and Pleiades.

Christian Anton Gerard reviews Two-Headed Nightingale for Smartish Pace.


Shara is pleased to be named the first Anne Spencer Poet-in-Residence at Randolph College.


Poet and physician David Moolten’s essay on “Dynamite: A Prelude” is online. Click here to read the poem.

Interview with 2013 National Book Award Winner Mary Szybist, author of Incarnadine.


“Pas de Deux” feature at The Cincinnati Review.


Ryan Teitman shares his thoughts on Two-Headed Nightingale at The Rumpus.


In conversation with National Book Award finalists Frank Bidart (Metaphysical Dog) and Lucie Brock-Broido (Stay, Illusion).

Gratitude to the editors of Crazyhorse for nominating
“In Jordan’s Northernmost Province” for the Pushcart Prize.

Recent interviews with National Book Awards finalists
Adrian Matejke (The Big Smoke) and Matt Rasmussen
(Black Aperture).


Poetry Editor Renee Ashley’s feature essay on Two-Headed Nightingale appears in The Literary Review.


Many thanks to Late Night Library (especially Lucas Bernhardt, Sara Seybold, and Paul Martone) for a lively discussion of Two-Headed Nightingale.


The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College has chosen Shara as the winner of the 2014 Mary Wood Fellowship.


New poems forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Gulf Coast.


Two-Headed Nightingale gets a little love from The Poetry Foundation.


Now available from UNC Press: Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina, which includes Shara’s ode to the Roanoke River Lighthouse.


Two-Headed Nightingale is featured in the January / February 2013 issue of Poets & Writers as part of the magazine’s “Flame & Shine: An Annual Look at Debut Poets.”


The Ecopoetry Anthology (edited by Ann Fisher-Worth & Laura-Gray Street with an introduction by Robert Hass) includes Shara’s poem,“Tooth of the Lion,” and is now available from Trinity University Press.


Shara is pleased to join West Branch as a Contributing Editor. Her column “Split the Lark” will appear annually.


Things Green,” a lyric essay, is available online at New England Review.

How a Poem Happens: interview.


Verse Daily features “Prometheus as Sparrow.”

Visit Poetry Daily to read Shara’s thoughts on Charlotte Mew’s “The Farmer’s Bride” as part of the Poet’s Pick series.

Upcoming Readings / Guest Appearances

MARCH 2018

AWP Conference
Tampa, Florida

Wed., 7: “Monster Mags of the Midwest” Reading
6:30 p.m., The Fountain

Thurs., 8: “The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice”
(Philip Metres, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Sandra Lim, Bruce Snider)
3:00 to 4:15 p.m., Room 17 Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

Thurs, 8: University of Wisconsin Press Reading
6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Jackson’s Bistro

Fri., 9: Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology Launch
5:30 to 7:30 p.m., The Attic

Saturday, 10: Signing, The Explosive Expert’s Wife
1:30 to 2:30 p.m., University of Wisconsin Press (Bookfair 523)

Sat., 10: Signing, The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., Pleiades Press (Bookfair T1324)

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre Reading Series
Oxford, England
Thurs., 22: Shara Lessley & Yvonne Reddick
7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Society Cafe


Unamo Author Series
Madrid, Spain
(Date TBD): Shara Lessley & Bruce Snider
Calle Camponmanes 13


University of San Francisco Emerging Writers Festival, Towson University, Baltimore Writer’s Conference, The Wisconsin Book Festival, Washington College, University of Wisconsin at Plattesville, Randolph College, Hampden-Sydney College, University of Cincinnati (Emerging Poets Festival), The Word Works Cafe Muse Series (Washington, DC), George Mason University (Fall for the Book), Boston Public Library, Connecticut College, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Lawrence University, Goucher College, The 92nd Street Unterberg Poetry Center (“Discovery”/The Nation Prize Reading), Colgate University, Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin, Wake of the Storm: Writers to Benefit Hurricane-Ravaged Colleges, Menlo School, Los Altos High School, GW Community School, University of Maryland, American Community School
(Amman, Jordan), The Field School