Kerry Shawn Keys’ roots are in the Appalachian Mountains. From 1998 to 2000, he taught translation theory and creative composition as a Fulbright Associate Professor at Vilnius University. He has dozens of books to his credit, including translations from Portuguese and Lithuanian. His own poetry, informed by rural America and Europe, Brazil and India where he lived for considerable time, ranges from theatre-dance pieces to flamenco songs to meditations on the Tao Te Ching. Of late, he has been writing prose wonderscripts, and monologues for the stage. He performs with the free jazz percussionist and sound-constellation artist, Vladimir Tarasov – Prior Records released their CD in 2006. His most recent book is Transporting, a cloak of rhapsodies (2010).
Keys received the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America in 1992, and in 2005 a National Endowment For The Arts Literature Fellowship. He received a Translation Laureate Award from the Lithuanian Writers Union, was a Senior Fulbright Research grantee for African-Brazilian studies, and is a member of the Lithuanian Writers Union and PEN. Currently, Keys is Poet-in-Residence for Summer Literary Seminars Lithuania (SLS Lithuania). He also writes a bi-monthly column, Letter From Vilnius: Eastern/Central Europe and Excursions Elsewhere for Poetry International, San Diego State University. Two books of translations from Lithuanian into English were published in 2011: Bootleg Copy, a selected poems of Laurynas Katkus; and Still Life, a selected poems of Sonata Paliulytė. Night Flight, poems, will be released in May 2012.