Sheryl's poetry books include Going Home (Perivale), The Mask of Medusa (Cross Cultural Communications), (chapbooks) Making Bread at Midnight, (Slough Press) How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade (University of North Texas Press), and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems (Autumn House Press). She has also published a chapbook of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien (Cross Cultural Communications).
She has published two memoirs, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman (University of Utah Press), and Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair (Louisiana Literature Press). She co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the 21st Century (Autumn House Press). With Sarah Shotland she co-edited Words Without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence and Incarceration, (Trinity University Press).
A native of New Orleans, Sheryl has taught creative writing at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Knox College, and Iowa State University. Her work has received several awards, including two NEA Fellowships, an NEH Fellowship, the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, the Ki Davis Award from the Aspen Writers Foundation, and the William Faulkner Award for the personal essay.
She directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University where she also teaches poetry and creative nonfiction. She is the co-founder and director of the Words Without Walls Program.