Shayla Lawson is an American poet and writer, currently the writer in residence at Amherst College.
Lawson grew up in Kentucky and "set down her roots in its slam poetry scene" before majoring in Architecture at the University of Kentucky, where she gave the 2005 Breathitt Lecture, "My Ancestor Antenna: Hair and Its Relation to African-American Identity Across the Diaspora." After graduating, Lawson worked as an architect for some time before pursuing her MFA at Indiana University, where she worked as the nonfiction editor of the Indiana Review and for the Graduate Mentoring Center. Lawson published her debut collection, A Speed Education in Human Being, in 2013, the chapbook Pantone, of which each poem was printed on its own card, in 2016, and the book I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean in 2018. She received the 2017 Oregon Literary Fellowship and Honorable Mention in the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Lawson succeeded Daniel Hall as the poet in residence at Amherst College beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.
- A Speed Education in Human Being, Sawyer House, 2013.
- Pantone, Miel, 2016.
- I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean, Saturnalia Books, 2018.