Amanda Shaw

Amanda Shaw Photo


Once upon a time, Amanda was paging through one of the books her mother often read to her—Meg and Mog on the Moon—and discovered she could read the word “BOOM.” She’s been in love with books ever since.

With a BA in English Language and Literature from Smith College, she set out into the world with a vague idea of what was ahead. At each juncture, the desire to write returned. After a Master’s in Education and decades of teaching and editing, she received her M.F.A. from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in 2020.

Currently, Amanda serves as the book review editor for Lily Poetry Review, championing emerging authors from diverse backgrounds. She is a member of The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, active in several writing groups, and a frequent contributor to Warren Wilson’s alumni community.


As a teacher for more than 25 years, Amanda’s approach to writing and editing is grounded in her experience in education. She believes we are all thinkers, and writing is a way of thinking on the page.

Her career began in New York City public schools. After a year and a half at a Brooklyn alternative school, she became a founding faculty member at New York City’s renowned Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Transitioning away from high school education in 2008, Amanda continued teaching domestically and abroad while expanding her professional writing and editing work. She has worked for the International Center for Language Studies and the World Bank in Washington, DC. Recently, Amanda has chosen to focus full time on her writing, freelance editing, and television and film development.

“When you can say something in as few words as possible, you know you’re being honest.”

– Amanda Shaw

Journey as a Poet

Teaching high school inspired Amanda’s first poems. Though she’d always written, teaching gave her little time to finish long-form work. But the poetry she was teaching stayed in her head, and she would jot down rhymes, echoes, and found language in notebooks.

She witnessed poetry’s profound impact in the classroom: once students understood poems as expressions of a moment, idea, or emotion (rather than an equation to be solved), they were eager to read and write themselves.

Discontent with knowing only a tiny part of the world, Amanda has lived many places in the United States and abroad. She holds dual American and Swiss citizenship. Amanda has lived in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Boston, Detroit, Geneva, and Rome. She currently divides her time between rural New Hampshire and the comfortingly international Washington, DC.

In March 2024, Amanda’s debut collection, It Will Have Been So Beautiful, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books. The poems, written over 15 years, explore love and loss, childhood, displacement, and human community in an increasingly disconnected world.

Work with Amanda

Reading & Book Tour Dates