The Poetry Box® is currently based in Portland, Oregon. Many people have been surprised to find out we are a very small staff of two. That’s right. So far, it’s been Robert and me running the show. I imagine, sometime soon, we may need to expand our operation with additional staff to handle administrative tasks and help with reading all the submissions. But for now, we seem to be keeping up just fine. I actually love the fact that I’ve had the privilege to read each and every poem that has been submitted to The Poetry Box. And I feel humbled and blessed that hundreds of talented poets and writers from around the world have chosen to share their words on our pages.
Shawn Aveningo Sanders is a globally published, award-winning poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes … especially red ones! (RedShoePoet.com) Shawn’s work has appeared in over 100 literary journals and anthologies; she’s a Pushcart nominee (2015) and Best of the Net nominee (2017). As co-founder of The Poetry Box, her roles include managing editor, proofreader, curator, marketer, website design, book design, shipping, quality control and obsessive spreadsheet maker.
She was voted Best Female Poet in 2009 in the Sacramento News & Review and awarded first place in the inaugural El Dorado County Slam Championship in April 2013. She also won first place in the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest in 2012 and was a finalist in the Annual Benicia Love Poetry Contest in 2014. She volunteered as the journal designer for VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices and visions from 2014-2016.
Shawn also founded and hosted the “Verse on the Vine” poetry show for two years in Folsom, CA and has been a featured poet in Sacramento, Grass Valley, San Francisco, Sausalito, Seattle, Kirkland, St. Louis and Portland. She is a Show-Me girl originally from Missouri who graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of Maryland and is a very proud mother of her adult children—Jimmy, Ashley and Nicole. She enjoys the creative life with her husband, Robert, in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.
Robert Sanders is a co-founder of The Poetry Box and is the visual artist responsible for our book cover designs, event posters and photography. Robert has enjoyed a very successful career in the visual arts realm and has won over three dozen international awards in creative design, animation, and photography. While working in the art department for KATU News in Portland, Oregon, he was nominated for an Emmy for Fire Mountain, a news documentary detailing the eruption of Mt. St. Helens and the Pacific Ring of Fire. Robert’s work spans half a century of creative development through an analog and digital journey, where he’s been a pioneer in the front of the lunatic mass, always leading. He’s been a teacher to thousands of aspiring artists, while always remaining a student of the light.
As a successful commercial photographer and designer, his work is sometimes dramatic, sometimes clever, at times controversial, occasionally humorous, but always intriguing and impacting. In other words, he’s the perfect guy to design great book covers. You can view Robert’s Commercial site at RobertSandersPhoto.com and his newest work in the field of cannabis macro-photography at SpursBroken.com.
When he’s not behind the camera, you can often find him making music, drumming with his friends. He’s also a very proud papa to his two adult children, Chase and Dallas.