Shara Lessley is a writer and teacher. The author of Two-Headed Nightingale and The Explosive Expert’s Wife, winner of the Sheila Motton Prize for Best Collection, and coeditor of The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice, she is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Shara’s awards include Washington College’s Mary Wood Fellowship, an Artist Fellowship from the State of North Carolina, the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Colgate University’s Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship, The Gilman School’s Reginald S. Tickner Fellowship, and a “Discovery”/The Nation prize. Shara was the inaugural Anne Spencer Poet-in-Residence at Randolph College.

Shara’s poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Threepenny Review, The Southern Review, Gettysburg Review, Missouri Review, and New England Review, among others. Her work is featured in Best American Poetry 2020, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Ghost Fishing: An Ecojustice Poetry Anthology, Still Life with Poem: Contemporary Natures Mortes in Verse, The Book of Scented Things: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, The EcoPoetry Anthology and The Rumpus Poetry Anthology. A recipient of scholarships from ArtsBridge and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Shara holds Bachelor’s degrees in Dance and English from University of California, Irvine, and an MFA in Poetry from University of Maryland. She was awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Shara is a Consulting Editor for Acre Books and lives in Dubai.