portrait of Shook


Poet, translator, and filmmaker Shook was raised in Mexico City. They earned a BA at the University of Oklahoma and an MSt at Oxford University. In their debut collection, Our Obsidian Tongues (2013), Shook explores the violence and hunger of everyday life, steeping their poems in lush imagery and sensory detail.

In 2013, they founded the nonprofit publishing house Phoneme Media, since editing over 30 books translated from 26 languages, including the first ever literary translations from Uyghur and Lingala. Shook has also translated over 15 books from Spanish and Isthmus Zapotec, including Mario Bellatin’s The Large Glass: Three Autobiographies (2014), Víctor Terán’s The Spines of Love (2014), and Jorge Eduardo Eielson’s Room in Rome (2019), a finalist for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

Shook has produced short literary documentaries and video poems in locations including Bangladesh, Burundi, Cuba, and Equatorial Guinea, and their own poems have been adapted into a short film in Rwanda. They were a 2017 NEA Translation Fellow for their translation of the São Toméan poet Conceição Lima’s selected poems and the 2018-19 Artist in Residence at Kashkul, the center for arts and culture at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Shook is a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California.

Poems translated by Shook