Born and raised in the Bronx, poet Laurie Sheck was educated at the University of Iowa. She has published several collections of poetry, including Captivity (2007); The Willow Grove (1996), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Amaranth (1981). Her poems often use myths as frames within which to explore ideas of motion and stillness, consciousness and the body. In a 2002 interview, speaking to the attentiveness, rather than narrative, that drives her work, Sheck noted, “if you create a world on the page in which things that seem not to hold together can interact with each other, they can hold, and part of what’s holding, part of what’s interesting, is the way that things don’t directly hook up.”
Her 500-page hybrid novel, A Monster’s Notes (2009), uses prose fragments and deletions, letters, and embedded texts to reimagine the monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. “As Sheck demonstrates, the lyric essay is a kind of Frankenstein's monster, equipped with parts sliced out of others, stitched up with genius and white space,” observes novelist and editor Ed Park in a review for the Los Angeles Times.
Sheck’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her poems have won several Pushcart Prizes and have been included in Best American Poetry. Sheck edited the anthology Poem a Day, Volume 2 (2003).
Sheck has taught at Princeton University and the New School. She lives in New York City.