ABOUT PEGI DEITZ SHEA

  • Pegi Deitz Shea, Poet Laureate of Vernon, CT, is the award-winning author of 16 books for readers ranging from 0-100. She specializes in social justice and multicultural fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Her young adult titles are Abe in Arms, (PM Press/Reach And Teach) about a former Liberian boy soldier, and Stitch in Time (Amazon), the third of her books on Mai Yang, a Hmong refugee. (The first two were the picture book The Whispering Cloth and the middle grade novel Tangled Threads.) Shea’s most recent picture books include The Taxing Case of the Cows: A True Story About Suffrage (Clarion) and Noah Webster: Weaver of Words The Webster book marked the second time Pegi has won the Connecticut Book Award. It was also a Junior Library Guild selection, and an Orbis Pictus Honor Book selected by the National Council of Teachers of English for one of the six top nonfiction releases of 2009.
    Having presented at more than 400 schools, libraries and conferences, Shea writes fiction and poetry as well as nonfiction for all ages. Her books work across the curriculum and often explore the difficult lives of war refugees, immigrants, child laborers, and historical figures. Her stories, including The Whispering Cloth, Tangled Threads, Ten Mice for Tet, The Carpet Boy’s Gift and Patience Wright: America’s First Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy, have been made Notables by the International Reading Association, NCTE, Children’s Book Council/National Council for the Social Studies, Bank Street College, New York Public Library and other organizations. Pegi is currently working on a new YA novel, Snake Boy, Sister Spy, which is based on her aunt and uncle’s teen French Resistance exploits during WWII. Pegi teaches in the Creative Writing Programs at the University of Connecticut, Institute of Children’s Literature, and the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford. She grew up on the Jersey Shore, and now lives in Rockville, CT, with husband Tom Shea, a UCONN Irish Lit professor, and their two “new adult” children. SHEA HAS JUST OPENED A WRITING COACH BUSINESS, EDITING MANUSCRIPTS. She is also an accomplished photographer, has won prizes in juried exhibits, and has had many solo exhibits combining her photographs with poems. More information, including cross-curriculum guides for all books, can be found at www.pegideitzshea.com. 

ARTIST STATEMENT

  • I’m a literary writer interested in the real world of characters. Poetry was my first love. I studied under Alicia Suskin Ostriker at Rutgers, performed in New Brunswick and New York City, and published in many literary magazines. I also wrote for the Asbury Park Press in my early career. Therefore, my realistic and historical fiction, as well as my nonfiction, are well-researched, straight-forward, and above all lyrical. I strive to teach my students and editing clients to write about deeply lovable characters in succinct, powerful and beautiful language.  

PUBLICATIONS - View in Bookstore