Ugly Duckling Presse

Shake Her
Shake Her

Arielle Greenberg

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Arielle Greenberg was pregnant with her second child when she conducted the research for this book about Mother Ann Lee, mania, and her own mother in the summer of 2007 at the Shaker Heritage Society in Colonie, New York and at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine, home to the only living Shakers left in the world. She tried to keep this pregnancy a secret from her mother, from whom she was estranged, but her mother found out about the pregnancy in early November 2007, when Arielle had just entered her third trimester. Arielle began having nightmares and visions of the pregnancy being cursed, and about two weeks later, the baby died in utero at thirty-one weeks. He was named Day, and was born and buried in Maine in December of 2007. Shake Her documents the painful intersection of a planned research-based poem with an unplanned life event. 

About the Author

Arielle Greenberg

Arielle Greenberg is the co-author, with Rachel Zucker, of Home/Birth: A Poemic (1913 Press, 2011), and author of My Kafka Century (Action Books, 2005), Given (Verse, 2002) and the recently republished chapbook Shake Her (Ugly Duckling Press, 2013). She is co-editor of three anthologies: with Rachel Zucker, Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days (Iowa, 2010) and Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections (Iowa, 2008); and with Lara Glenum, Gurlesque (Saturnalia, 2010). Twice featured in Best American Poetry and the recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship, she is the founder-moderator of the poet-moms listserv. In 2011 she left a tenured position in poetry at Columbia College Chicago to move with her family to a small town in Maine, and now writes a regular column for the American Poetry Review on issues and trends in contemporary poetics, and teaches poetry in the local community, and through the low-residency MFA at Oregon State University-Cascades.