vocalisms #15: Brenda Shaughnessy


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

photo of Brenda Shaughnessy

From 2003 to the present, the Poetry Center has brought emerging poets to Tucson through the Next Word in Poetry series (2003-2012) and the Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading (2013-present). These poets, presented in the early stages of their careers, have gone on to publish widely and win many accolades. In this 2005 recording, Brenda Shaughnessy reads from what will become her second collection, Human Dark with Sugar (winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets). Shaughnessy’s eight-part poem on embarrassment captivates with its realistic details and pithy statements: “Time is never wasted. / It is always spent.”


Brenda Shaughnessy (2003), "Embarrassment" from Poetry Center on Vimeo.