She grew up in Southern California. She received her B.A. in literature and women's studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and M.F.A. at Columbia University.
Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, BOMB, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.
She is the poetry editor at Tin House magazine, and currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University, and Eugene Lang College at the New School. She lives in Brooklyn, with her husband and son.
Richard Howard: "The resonance of Shaughnessy's poems is that of someone speaking out of an ecstasy and into an ecstasy, momentarily pausing to let us in on the fun, the pain."
As I read Shaughnessy’s poems, I can’t help hearing not only her poetic ancestors but Abbott and Costello as well: not the film bumblers being chased by Frankenstein but the double-talkers whose “Who’s on First?” routine is often imitated, never duplicated. People are funny. Words are funnier. And poems, when they’re at their smartest and best-made, are funniest of all.