Eric Paul Shaffer



"The islands are even further west than I thought." ~overheard in Lāhaina



Eric Paul Shaffer is the author of seven books of poetry: Even Further West (2018); A Million-Dollar Bill (2016); Lāhaina Noon (2005); Living at the Monastery, Working in the Kitchen (2001); Portable Planet (2000); RattleSnake Rider (1990); and Kindling: Poems from Two Poets (1988; with James Taylor III).

Photo by Mathew Ursua (

Photo by Mathew Ursua (

More than 500 of Shaffer's poems have been published in reviews, journals, and magazines throughout the USA, Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Scotland, Singapore, and Wales, including North American ReviewRATTLESlate, and The Sun Magazine; Australia’s Cordite Poetry ReviewGoing Down SwingingIslandQuadrant Magazine, and Westerly; Canada’s CV2Dalhousie ReviewThe Fiddlehead, and Prairie Fire; Éire’s Poetry Ireland Review and Southword Journal; England’s IotaMagma, and The Stand Magazine; and New Zealand’s Poetry NZ and Takahē. His work has been translated into Esperanto, Farsi, and Spanish.

His poems also appear in more than twenty anthologies of poetry, including The EcoPoetry Anthology (Trinity UP, 2013), Jack London Is Dead: Contemporary Euro-American Poetry in Hawai‘i (Tinfish, 2013), 100 Poets Against the War (Salt, 2003), and The Soul Unearthed (Tarcher/ Putnam, 1996).

His first novel Burn & Learn, or Memoirs of the Cenozoic Era was published in 2009. His short fiction appears in BakuninBamboo RidgeNatural Bridge, and News from the Republic of Letters, and in two chapbooks, You Are Here (2004) and The Felony Stick (2006), both containing chapters selected from his novel.

Shaffer received Hawai‘i’s 2002 Elliot Cades Award for Literature; a 2006 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Book Award for Lāhaina Noon; the 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry for his poem “The Whistle,” which appears in A Million-Dollar Bill (2016); and the 2010 Loren Tarr Gill Award for Poetry for his poem "A Boat of Bones," which appears in Even Further West (2018).

In 2013, Shaffer was the keynote speaker at Hawai‘i Pacific University’s 16th Annual Ko‘olau Writing Workshops, and in 2015, he was a visiting poetry faculty member at the 23rd Annual Jackson Hole Writers Conference in Wyoming.

Shaffer lives on O‘ahu and teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Honolulu Community College.


Eric Paul Shaffer's poems are always filled with clear light and fresh air. They restore deep attention and gratitude, a rebalancing between land and sky.

/  Naomi Shihab Nye  /