In 1974, Lee Sharkey bought a hundred-year-old Pearl platen press, taught herself to set type and print, and produced over the course of a long Maine winter her first poetry chapbook. Over the next four years, under the imprint South Solon Press, she printed two more chapbooks of her own poetry, portfolios of other poets’ work, and ephemera such as poems on paper lunch bags.
Since then, she has continued to work both on and off the grid as a writer and an editor. Her publications include two other full-length volumes, Farmwife (Puckerbrush Press, 1977) and To A Vanished World (Puckerbrush, 1995), a poem sequence in response to Roman Vishniac’s photographs of Eastern European Jewry in the years just preceding the Nazi Holocaust. She is the recipient of the 2010 Maine Arts Commission's Individual Artist Fellowship in Literary Arts and the 1997 Rainmaker Award in Poetry, judged by Carolyn Forché. Recent poems have appeared in Green Mountains Review, Margie, Nimrod, The Pinch, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals. Since 2003 she has co-edited The Beloit Poetry Journal, one of the country’s oldest and most respected poetry journals.
Lee lives in the woods outside of Farmington, Maine, with her husband, Al Bersbach, and stands in the weekly Women in Black peace vigil in front of the Farmington post office.