Carnegie Mellon University

Lauren  Shapiro

Lauren Shapiro

Associate Professor of English

  • BH 260 C
Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall 259, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Area of Study

Creative Writing, Global Communication and Applied Translation


I am a feminist writer exploring the concept of the quotidian, specifically the ways in which motherhood, a political consciousness, and the rich distractions of American culture influence the way people lead and understand their lives. My research also centers on tonal ranges within poetry, and the degree to which humor and certain syntactical choices can engender emotional reactions and intellectual thought in the reader. My newer work explores themes related to mental illness, grief, and public spectacle. Arena (CSU Poetry Center Open Book Competition, Editor’s Choice, published 2020), uses the narrative thread of a father’s several attempts at suicide to engage with the process of grieving as well as the idea of death and trauma as spectacle. I am also the author of a collection of poetry, Easy Math (Sarabande, 2013), which was the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and the Debut-litzer Prize for Poetry, as well as a chapbook of poems, Yo-Yo Logic (DIAGRAM/New Michigan Press, 2011). With Kevin González, I co-edited The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry  (Rescue Press, 2013).

Though I primarily teach courses in poetry, other interests include creative nonfiction, literary translation, and publishing. I have published a handful of essays, and I was an acquiring editor at Yale University Press, where I worked on titles in the categories of history, philosophy, literary studies, and general reference. I have translated poetry and fiction from Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Arabic into English; my current focus is on the work of several contemporary Latin American and Spanish poets.


  • M.F.A. in Poetry, Iowa Writers' Workshop
  • B.A. in Comparative Literature, Brown University