Shelley Savren

3161 Strathmore Drive
Ventura, CA 93003

Author's Bio

Shelley Savren holds an M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles and has taught poetry writing workshops at a maximum security men’s prison, juvenile detention centers, a homeless shelter, a school for emotionally disturbed adolescents and numerous other facilities and at every grade level through the California Poets in the Schools. She lives in Ventura, California and is a an English and Creative Writing Professor Emeritus at Oxnard College. Marge Piercy writes: "Shelley Savren’s poems in THE COMMON FIRE are warm and direct, full of the stuff of daily life, family life, joy and pleasure and grief and pain we can all identify with in poems that carry a strong emotional weight.” Dorianne Laux writes: “In THE WILD SHINE OF ORANGES, Shelley Savren finds the neglected, incarcerated and sick, and explores the perils of family, and a daughter coming into her own. These frank, tightly-crafted narratives recount the sounds of protest and are testament to lives lost and shared, where, in moments of mercy, “there are no shadows.” Juan Felipe Herrera writes about WELCOME TO POETRYLAND: TEACHING POETRY WRITING TO YOUNG CHILDREN : "From Lorca to Gary Soto, Amy Uyematsu, Kenneth Patchen and Yusef Komunyakaa and many more -- and most of all, the students of all grades; we see the teaching of poetry blossom before us. Savren encourages teachers, respects them and guides them with the excitements of a poet and daring educator who has journeyed well the poetry and teaching road. Magnificent, practical, magical." Bruce Weigl writes: “As a teacher of creative writing at the college and university level for over thirty years, I am always looking for new texts to engage my new generations of students. Shelley Savren’s THE FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN: TEACHING POETRY WRITING TO TEENS AND ADULTS has become the answer to this search. Relying upon her over twenty-five years of reading, studying, writing, publishing and teaching a wide variety of poetry, Ms. Savren has constructed the most practical, user friendly and insightful creative writing text that I’ve seen in a long time. I look forward to my students holding this book in their hands, and I look forward to sharing it with you, reader.”

Publications and Prizes

The Common Fire
(Red Hen Press, 2004)
, The Forms of Things Unknown: Teaching Poetry Writing to Teens and Adults
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2018)
, The Wild Shine of Oranges
(Tebot Bach, 2012)
, Welcome to Poetryland: Teaching Poetry Writing to Young Children
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)
Art/Life Limited Editions, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, Earth's Daughters, Hawai'i Pacific Review, Main Street Rag, Poet Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Santa Clara Review, Serving House Journal, Solo Press, Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, Spillway Magazine
Prizes Won: 
Nomination for a Pushcart Prize, first place in the 1994 John David Johnson Memorial Poetry Award, nine California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants, two National Endowment for the Arts regional grants, and five artist fellowships from the City of Ventura.

More Information

Listed as: 
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Caucasian, Jewish
Prefers to work with: 
At Risk Youth, Children
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Cleveland, OH
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: Jul 12, 2016