JS Shakesphere




I grew up in Meriden, Connecticut, a city once famous for its silverware industry. Both my parents were factory workers and bartenders (my father claimed he once served Judy Garland). I received my BA in English from the University of Connecticut in 1966 and my MA in 1976 (I am, alas, a PhD dropout). I’ve worked as a journalist, copywriter, and teacher; I’ve been a freelance writer since 1995. I have two children (Vanessa, a union organizer, and John Edward, a musician and graphic artist) and three grandsons: Jerzy, Edward Stanislaus, and Ishmael. My wife, Denise, is an attorney and an avid and tireless supporter of my work. Pretty boring, huh?

  • Winner, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest (2015)
  • Finalist, Mississippi Review Prize (2010)
  • Artist of the Year, Meriden (CT) Arts Council (2009)
  • Pegasus Award, Verse Drama, Poetry Foundation (2007)
  • Pablo Neruda Award, Nimrod International Journal (2006)
  • Washington Award, The WordWorks (2006)
  • Second Place, Sunken Garden Poetry Festival National Competition (2006)
  • Poetry Fellowship, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Office of the Arts (2005)
  • White Pine Press Poetry Prize (2003)
  • Honorable Mention, Two Rivers Review Poetry Prize (2002)
  • Third Place, Kimera Poetry Contest (2001)
  • Finalist, The Mississippi Review Poetry Competition (2001)
  • First Prize, Common Ground Review Poetry Contest (2000)
  • First Prize, Georgia State University Review Poetry Contest (2000)
  • Finalist, Robert Penn Warren Award, Cumberland Review (2000)
  • Third Place, Portland PEN Poetry Contest (2000)