Direct, informal, and richly evocative of his Jewish heritage and New York City home, Harvey Shapiro’s poetry has occupied a unique place in American letters for over 50 years. This new collection brings together his latest work and much of his 11 previous collections, revealing the full arc of his carefully calibrated poetics. Shapiro engages themes including the immigrant experience, urban landmarks and lifestyles, family life, and war. The reader will see the more formal British-tinged cadences of his earlier work give way to the colloquial, personal nature of his later poems, and how Shapiro’s candor and simplicity mark his work throughout the last five decades. Bringing the city and its balance of despair and exuberance into stark relief, this poetry is intimately attuned both to life’s quiet disappointments and to its unanticipated miracles.
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Published February 15, 2006
Literature & Fiction.