Kerry Shawn Keys

Kerry Shawn Keys’ roots are in the Appalachian Mountains. From 1998 to 2000, he taught translation theory and creative composition as a Fulbright Associate Professor at Vilnius University. He has dozens of books to his credit, including translations from Portuguese (Requiem, Ledo Ivo, 2011) and Lithuanian, and his own poems informed by rural America and Europe, and Brazil and India (Peace Corps) where he lived for considerable time. His work ranges from theatre-dance pieces to flamenco songs to meditations on the Tao Te Ching, and is often lyrical with intense ontological concerns. Of late, he has been writing prose wonderscripts, and plays. A children’s book, The Land of People, received a Lithuanian laureate in 2008 for artwork he co-authored. He performs with the free jazz percussionist and sound-constellation artist, Vladimir Tarasov – Prior Records released their CD in 2006. His most recent book is Night Flight (poems), 2012. Keys received the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America in 1992, and in 2005 a National Endowment For The Arts Literature Fellowship. He received a Translation Laureate Award from the Lithuanian Writers Union in 2003. In 2011, two of his books of translations from the Lithuanian were published – Bootleg Copy (Laurynas Katkus), and Still Life (Sonata Paliulyte). Keys is also the English-language editor of the Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas, 2011. He was a Senior Fulbright Research grantee for African-Brazilian studies, and is a member of the Lithuanian Writers Union and PEN. Selected poems have appeared in Czech, English, and Lithuanian. Currently, Keys is Poet-in-Residence for Summer Literary Seminars Lithuania (SLS Lithuania). He also writes a quarterly column, Letter From Vilnius: Eastern/Central Europe and Excursions Elsewhere for Poetry International, San Diego State University. He is the Republic of Užupis World Poetry Ambassador.

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