Red Lemons


Sean Shearer

Winner of the 2019 Akron Poetry Prize

Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 65


Red Lemons is a moving debut collection about drug addiction and loss told through both a narrative and surreal lens, swaying from logic to absurdity, grimness to beauty. In these poems there is a “war with self” tethered to both the narrative and lyric, often playing with scope and leaps that fall between the threshold of order and chaos—a style of gentle reserve and wild transparency—Red Lemons is poised with brutal imagination, where nightmares “wait beyond the night / in a pitch we cannot hear, / like a still pond and all its eaten.”

About the Author

Sean Shearer grew up in New Jersey. His first collection of poems, Red Lemons (U of Akron, 2021), won the 2019 Akron Poetry Prize, selected by Victoria Chang. He is the recipient of a 2020 Pushcart Prize, a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, and his poems have appeared in New England Review, Boulevard, Beloit Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, jubilat, and elsewhere. He received his MFA in Poetry from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he is currently a City Mail Carrier for USPS. Sean is the founder of BOAAT Press.


Thoughts on his poem “Sober House”:

Read his poem “Conor Oberst” at

Additional information


Poetry, Drug Addiction, Recovery, Loss, Childhood, Narrative, Lyric



Pub Date


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