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Neil Shepard (b. January 29, 1951, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts) is an American poet, essayist, professor of creative writing, and literary magazine editor. He has a BA from University of Vermont, MFA from Colorado State University, and Ph.D. from Ohio University. He has taught at Louisiana State University, Rider University (NJ), Johnson State College (VT), and Wilkes University (PA).


He has published eight full collections of poetry -- The Book of Failures (Madville Publishing, 2024), How It Is: Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2018), Vermont Exit Ramps II (Green Writers Press, VT, 2015), Hominid Up (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2015), (T)ravel/Un(t)ravel (Mid-List, 2011), This Far from the Source (Mid-List, 2006), I'm Here Because I Lost My Way (Mid-List, 1998), Scavenging the Country for a Heartbeat (First Book Award, Mid-List Press, 1993) -- as well as a chapbook Vermont Exit Ramps (Big Table Publishing, 2012). He has published essays, book reviews, interviews, and poems in numerous literary magazines, among them, AWP Chronicle, Boulevard, Harvard Review, New England Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Southern Review, and TriQuarterly. His poems have been nominated numerous times for the Pushcart Prize, and they have been featured online at Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Poem-A-Day (from the Academy of American Poets).


Shepard has been a writing fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland. He has served as a visiting writer and workshop leader at several institutions, among them, Poets House (NYC), Chautauqua Writers Institute (NY), Ossabaw Island Writers Retreat (GA), and the Frost Place (NH). He founded and directed for eight years the Writing Program at the Vermont Studio Center, and he taught for several decades (1985-2009) in the BFA Writing Program at Johnson State College (VT) and for a decade (2006-2016) in the MFA low-residency MFA Writing Program at Wilkes University (PA).


He founded the literary magazine Green Mountains Review and was the Senior Editor for a quarter-century. Recently, he founded the online literary magazine Plant-Human Quarterly and serves as its editor-in-chief. He has been a long-time Board member (and past President of the Board) for Sundog Poetry, a Vermont-based organization that supports poetry readings, workshops, lecture series, and book publications throughout Vermont. Outside of the literary realm, Neil is founding member of the jazz-poetry group PoJazz.

He currently splits his time between New York City and Vermont.

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