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*Reginald Shepherd was born on this date in 1963. He was a Black writer and poet.
Shepherd was from New York City and was raised in tenements and housing projects in the Bronx. In 1988, he received his B.A. from Bennington College and M.F.A. degrees from Brown University and the University of Iowa. The University of Pittsburgh Press published his first book, Some Are Drowning, in 1994. As winner of the 1993 Associated Writing Programs’ Award in Poetry, Pittsburgh published his second book, Angel, Interrupted, in 1996.
That collection was a finalist for a 1997 Lambda Literary Award. Pittsburgh published his third book, Wrong, in 1999. His fourth book, Otherhood, from Pittsburgh, was released in 2002. Shepherd has received a 1993 Discovery/The Nation award, the 1994 George Kent Prize from Poetry magazine, and grants from the NEA, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, among other awards and honors.
Shepherd was also the author of Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (Poets on Poetry Series, University of Michigan Press, 2007) and the editor of The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press, 2004) and of Lyric Postmodernisms (Counterpath Press, 2008).
His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in four editions of The Best American Poetry and two Pushcart Prize anthologies. He lived in Pensacola, Florida. Shepherd died on September 10, 2008.