About Eric


Photo credit Katie O’Shea.


Robert Eric Shoemaker is a poet-playwright, educator, and theatre artist. Eric is an MFA Candidate in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa University’s Creative Writing & Poetics program.

Eric’s writing has been featured in Barely South Review at Old Dominion University; Mount Analogue; Punch Drunk Press Online; Roar; The Adirondack Review; Kairos; Columbia Journal; Water, Water Everywhere; BEATS; Mosaic at University of California Riverside; Tooth N’ Nail; Rollick; Literature Emitting Diodes; Chicago After Dark; Thought Notebook; Baseball Bard; Verde Qué Te Quiero Verde; and his debut book 30 Days Dry from Thought Collection Publishing. Eric’s second book of poetry, We Knew No Mortality, is forthcoming from In Extenso Press/Acta Publications, with a third book of hybrid writing, Ca’Venezia and other tales, on the way from Partial Press.

Eric is the Founding Editor of BEATS, a Naropa-based journal. Since its founding in response to the presidential election of November 2016, BEATS has published monthly issues including 3 chapbooks, innovative ephemera issues, and dozens of online pieces; orchestrated two activist readings; and had one production at a major venue, “HOWL: A Ginsberg Birthday Party” at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. Over 20 acts performed at the Fox for this event, for which Eric & BEATS were the main producing entities. BEATS received a $1000 grant from the Awesome Foundation to fund “HOWL”.

Eric is also the Founding Artistic Director of Poetry Is Productions, a theatre and arts company responsible for over five years of work in Chicago, New York, Kentucky, and Colorado. Eric is the author of the duet musical “PLATH/HUGHES”, which was awarded the 2014 Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Prize for Best Play and has been produced by Poetry Is throughout Chicago and in New York. His project “Lorca In America” was awarded a 2015 DCASE Individual Artist Program grant from the City of Chicago and featured the production of his original translation “Bernarda Alba and Her House” at Redtwist Theatre.

Eric’s journalism has been published in Turnout: A Poetic Journalism Zine; Boulder Weekly; Newcity; Evanston Now; Fra Noi Magazine; Artisan Magazine; Printeresting; VAM; and through the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Campus Consortium Fellowship, which sent Eric to Venice to cover his original project “Venetian Artisanship and Climate Change”.

Eric is a graduate with honors and a student marshal from the University of Chicago, where he was Artistic Director of the Classical Entertainment Society. He currently serves as a member of the University of Chicago Arts Alumni Board.

Contact Eric at <eric@reshoemaker.com>

Artist’s Statement (Always In Progress)

Any piece of writing is its own animal; all writing is its own shit.
When I sit down to write, I write for everyone, knowing that not everyone will read or appreciate it.
Writing is recursive, as I keep coming back to it. It’s all in the p(re(writing)).
My work is infused with research, both internal and external, as well as the bones of my ancestors.
I write from my corner, looking outward.

INFLUENCES and FAVORITES: Edward Albee and “A Delicate Balance”, E. E. Cummings and “The Enormous Room”, Ted Hughes and “Birthday Letters”, Federico Garcia Lorca and “The Theory and Play of Duende”, Jeffrey Eugenides and “Middlesex”, Darren Aronofsky and “Requiem for a Dream”, Anne Carson and “An Oresteia”, Christian Bök and “Crystallography”, Anne Waldman and “Gossamurmur”, Terence Malick and “The Tree of Life”…

Shoemaker.Robert CV


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