"Burning interiors": David Shapiro's poetry and poetics

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Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Oct 31, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 186 pages
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Like many other major contemporary poets, David Shapiro situates his poetry at the interstices between and among modes and traditions. Possessing a singular musical gift, Shapiro problematizes self and culture and challenges conventional notions of fixed and commodified identity in work that discovers and resists meaning. The thirteen essays (and one poem) collected here illuminate a useful range of Shapiro's major texts through diverse critical approaches and elucidate vital questions that Shapiro addresses about poetry's nature and cultural contexts. While some essays trace parallels between Shapiro and poetic, artistic, and philosophical precursors, others demonstrate how a new generation of poets, seeking brilliant sources of experimentation, have benefited from Shapiro's nearly forty-year investigation of cultural representation in original, candid, philosophical, visionary, witty poems. Foregrounding his resistance to myriad dogmatisms and thirst for democratic experimentation, these essays cogently analyze Shapiro's increasing importance to the American poetry scene.

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About the author (2007)

Thomas Fink is the author of A Different Sense of Power: Problems of Community in Late-Twentieth-Century U.S. Poetry (Fairleigh Dickinson UP). Marsh Hawk Press published his fifth book of poetry, Clarity and Other Poems, in 2008. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2007 (Scribner's). Fink's paintings hang in various collections.

Joseph Lease is the author of two critically acclaimed collections of poetry: Human Rights (Zoland Books) and The Room. His work has been featured on NPR and published in The AGNI 30th Anniversary Poetry Anthology, VQR, Bay Poetics, Paris Review, and elsewhere. The title poem from BROKEN WORLD (Coffee House Press) appeared in The Best American Poetry, edited by Robert Creeley and David Lehman. Originally from Chicago, Lease lives in the Bay Area and chairs the MFA Program in Writing at California College of Arts in San Francisco.

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