Shannon Connor Winward was once the author of the Elgin Award-winning chapbook Undoing Winter (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her full-length collection The Year of the Witch (Sycorax Press) was published in 2018, while Shannon was teaching and performing as an Individual Artist Fellow in Literature in her home state of Delaware. After closing out that epic year with a feature in Poets & Writers magazine, Shannon collapsed from complications of an ancient family curse. Despite many invasive procedures on multiple coasts, neither the king’s horses nor his men could put the poor dear back together again.
Shannon’s written relics still linger in places like Abyss & Apex, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Apparition Literary Magazine, Cast of Wonders, The Cicada’s Cry, Crow Toes Quarterly, Deaf Poet’s Society, Dream Streets, Enchanted Conversation, Eternal Haunted Summer, Eye to the Telescope, The Fable Online, Flash Fiction Online, Gargoyle, Gingerbread House, Grievous Angle, Lunch Ticket, Literary Mama, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mirror Dance, Monstering Magazine, NewMyths.com, Not One of Us, Pantheon Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Pseudopod: Artemis Rising, Rivet, Rogue Agent, Qu, SageWoman Magazine, Skelos, Sheila-na-gig Online, Shoreline of Infinitity, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, Witches & Pagans Magazine, a slew of genre anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, and here and there a Review.
For now and the foreseeable future, Shannon’s mind lives in the brokedown tower of her body in a blue room, where she writes madly against the gods and the clock and edits Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal.
Open my mouth, look, and read
what I ate, or, sometimes
what I hungered for.
gnawed and worn down to the root
charred bread and mistletoe, bits
of his hand
bit-back words, here
lodged in the throat.
From Session – Pedestal Magazine, October 2010
Shannon’s poetry won the SFPA Poetry Prize in 2016 and 2018. She has been nominated for the Rhysling and Dwarf Star Awards and Best of the Net, and earned recognition in many competitions including the Dogfish Head Poetry Chapbook competition, the Lyon College Celtic Poetry Contest, the Eternal Haunted Summer Reader’s Choice Award, and editor’s pick at Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. She was once an officer of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association, a poetry editor for Devilfish Review, and a three-time judge for the Delaware PTA’s “Reflections” contest (Literature category) for Delaware students in grades K-12.
In between writing, parenthood, and other madness, Shannon is an avid armchair geneaologist, armchair anthropologist, armchair psychologist, basically an armchair everything these days, a mouthy Gemini, a dutiful daughter, a dragon mother / autism mom (the good kind, not the other kind), a Gen-X kitchen witch (there are no good or bad witches, only bad attitudes), a semi-colon survivor, a spoon theory poster child, a bi-LGBTQAetc ally, a foodie, a modern Celt, an empath, and an erstwhile gardener who lives with ghosts and dreams of miracles.
Shannon once read tarot professionally on Long Island for like a month. She used to be just south of six feet tall but lost density due to medical trauma; now she is sofa but walks tall in her head.
Shannon is a descendant of immigrants; Irish poets, Viking warriors, Slavic priestesses, and ancient oracles by way of her great-grandfather from Calabria (but we don’t talk about Bruno). She has (very) distant genetic ties to old Philadelphia money and to the buxom Vaudeville starlette Fay Templeton. She is married to an (also distant) relation of the iconic trail blazer of weird fiction H. P. Lovecraft, which explains a lot.
Shannon suffers from the same disease that took her grandfather (2000), her brother (2007), her uncle (2012), and her mother (2019), and a long line of men who died early and left orphans, going back who knows how far. She misses her mother terribly but is in no rush to see her again anytime soon, as she still has kids to raise, books to write, and pilgrimages calling from distant horizons.