Research Areas

Women’s Asylum Claims; Trauma; Poetry 


J.D.,      University of Iowa
M.F.A., University of Iowa 
B.A.,     Yale College

Patricia Sheppard

Patricia Sheppard

Patricia Sheppard

United States Immigration Judge, retired; former President of the National Association of Immigration Judges; legal career, primarily, in the public sector, including  criminal prosecutions.  Work in poetry, ongoing.  

Current Projects

Persecution is the inquiry in an aslyum claim.  A person who has a meritorious asylum claim, generally, will have experienced  trauma.  I am studying whether the effect of  trauma, itself, provides a barrier to giving a full rendering of the claim.  It is a critical point because the respondent has the burden of proving s/he meets the statutory requirements in order to prevail.

I shall look at several issues that may arise, among them:  respondent’s “retraumatization” by  testifying about events; a respondent’s affect or lack of affect; how trauma with dissociation might influence the narrative as to time, space, and point of view; how the mind might block memory of certain portions of events; and, how all of these might bear on the issue of credibility.  For this study, I consider women’s asylum claims.

I am completing a manuscript, tentatively titled, "Pictures of the Working World," that draws its inspiration from various forms of work. 

Representative Publications

A chapbook,  “If You Would Love Me,” Finishing Line Press, is forthcoming 2018.  Poems have appeared in The Antioch Review; The Hudson Review; The Iowa Review; The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (winner, First Place, Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Contest, 2015); Irises: The University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize 2017, (Australia), a compendium of prize winners and selected entries; Word by Word (Iowa Writers’ Workshop 75th Anniversary); an anthology published by Doubleday; and, elsewhere.