portrait of Shelley Puhak


Shelley Puhak is a poet and writer whose creative work engages with history in unexpected ways. Her nonfiction has appeared in publications like The Atlantic, Creative Nonfiction, and Virginia Quarterly Review; been anthologized in Best American Travel Writing 2017; and designated as Notable in Best American Essays 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Her first nonfiction book, The Dark Queens, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury in 2022.

​Shelley is also the author of two award-winning books of poetry, the more recent of which is Guinevere in Baltimore, selected by Charls Simic for the Anthony Hecht Prize. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and in journals such as Cincinnati Review, Missouri Review, Shenandoah, and Verse Daily


She has received grants and awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Disquiet International Literary Festival. Shelley has more than a decade of experience teaching literature and creative writing, and she has given workshops and readings at numerous writing conferences and festivals, colleges, and universities.