Shirley Graham was born in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 20, 1958. Before coming to Canada, she studied English and Writing at U.C. Irvine and at Brown University, and also attended workshops with Mark Strand, Carolyn Forche, Sharon Olds, Robert Haas, Galway Kinnell, and Robert Pack.

Shirley Graham came to Canada in 2000 and now lives with her husband, poet Peter Levitt, and their son, Tai Levitt on Salt Spring Island. She commutes by ferry to work as a psychologist in the Victoria area.

Marking the 400th hundredth anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, Shirley Graham's Shakespearean Blues (Mother Tongue 2016) is a collection of joyous, tragic, witty, solemn, mysterious and wry poems that emulate the Shakespearean quotes and characters that inspire them. Graham uses Shakespeare as her springboard to explore the human condition, from Puck's "Lord what fools these mortals be" to Miranda's "How beauteous mankind is!" It's like a one-woman show on the page instead of the stage.


Blue Notes (Mother Tongue Press, 2005) (Poems)

What Someone Wanted (Black Moss Press, 2007) (Poems)

Book of Blue (Black Moss Press, 2013) (Poems)

Shakespearean Blues (Mother Tongue 2016) 978-1-896949-56-7 $19.95

[BCBW 2016]