cyborg futures: poems and essay poems

​​Laurie Sheck is the author of five books of poems and two novels. She teaches in the MFA writing program at the New School and lives in New York City.

Artist Bio

In 1938 the synthetic estrogen Diethylstilbestrol, or DES, was invented in the lab of Robert Robinson at Oxford University, England. Despite evidence of its toxicity and carcinogenic qualities, it was the first drug approved in the United States by the FDA. For several decades it was prescribed to millions of pregnant women worldwide. The upshot was great harm to their (unborn, soon to be born) children. Sheck is one of those children. She would like to tell the sobering and illuminating story/history of DES through a book-length sequence of poems and poem-essays that also branches out to include pharmaceuticals and technological interventions in bodies (and various species) in a broader sense.

Literature, Poetry
Award Year

In Progress

Creative Capital Carnival 2023

Photo by Nina Subin.

Laurie Sheck

New York, NY

Sheck has published five books of poems and two hybrid fictions that incorporate a great deal of nonfiction material and interact with various source texts, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber to RW Fassbinder’s screenplay for In a Year of 13 Moons. Over recent years her work has become increasingly unclassifiable. Recent poem-essays have appeared online in The Paris Review and Granta. Awards include fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the NYPL, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. One book was a Pulitzer finalist. Sheck’s commitment is to hybrid forms and making research an active, vibrant aspect of the work. Her most recent work investigates the space program, cyborgs, black holes, information gathering and surveillance, and the concept of space-time. She is interested as well in non-human characters—Laika, the first space dog, is a significant character in her most recent work.

Photo by Nina Subin.