An Introduction to Lee Sharkey by Kristina Marie Darling

This coming May, Tupelo Press will have the incredible honor of publishing Lee Sharkey’s posthumous volume of poetry, I WILL NOT NAME IT EXCEPT TO SAY. These luminous and lyrical poems, excerpted from the larger book project, offer a glimpse of stunning work that the readers can look forward to. Sharkey’s poetry seeks out and thrives in liminal spaces. These often include the apertures between genres and mediums, as evidenced by the gorgeous prose poetry and ekphrastic pieces in this forthcoming volume. But even more importantly, Sharkey takes up some of the most difficult questions surrounding empathy, grief, and the self — questions that other less skilled writers would shy away from. What is revealed in this folio, as well as in the forthcoming book, is a fierce and compassionate intelligence at work, and a singular voice that will long continue to inspire.

Lee Sharkey is the author of Walking Backwards (Tupelo, 2016), Calendars of Fire (Tupelo, 2013), and five earlier books of poems, as well as a number of chapbooks. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Consequence, FIELD, Kenyon Review, and Tikkun, and has received many awards, including the 2017 Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize and the 2018 Maine Literary Award in Poetry. She served for fifteen years as co-editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal.