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David Shapiro

June 2, 2018

David Shapiro, ‘T’ Space’s 6th Annual Poetry Award Winner, was selected to read his work at the opening of Richard Nonas’ WHERE NONE* on account of their association since the 1970s. Similar to Nonas’ sculptures and outdoor installation, Shapiro’s poems are spatially aware—he is attentive to line break, caesurae, and white space. Additionally, Shapiro’s studies in art history have informed his work; his poems are carefully crafted, yet abstract and experimental in form, language, and rhythm.

In the Rocky Mountain Review, Carl Whithaus wrote, “To call David Shapiro a poet of the surreal, of collage, of the erotic, of endless transition, of formless form, of fin-de-siècle regret is to touch upon the variety of poetic techniques he has explored.”

Biography

David Shapiro, the recipient of the 2018 ‘T’ Space Poetry Award, grew up in Deal, New Jersey, in an artistic family. Shapiro published his first collection of poems, January (1965), when he was 18. Shapiro’s subsequent volumes of poetry include Poems from Deal (1969), A Man Holding an Acoustic Panel (1971), The Page-Turner (1972), Lateness (1977), To an Idea (1983), House (Blown Apart) (1988), After a Lost Original (1994), New and Selected Poems (1965–2006), and In Memory of an Angel (2016). Shapiro received a BA in English from Columbia University followed by a Kellett Fellowship at Cambridge University. He returned to Columbia University for a PhD in English and comparative literature. The author of studies on artists such as Jasper Johns and Piet Mondrian, Shapiro has taught at Columbia University, and the Cooper Union School of Architecture, among others. He is Professor Emeritus at William Paterson University.

Poem for You

I am jealous of the sand

beneath you
 around you
what you see

bright things   erased lady
sparkling and traveling without luggage
liquidity
before X
you are tattooed on my back    music
dies down

I too grew up in
the soft hands
of the gods

and a little donkey will lead them

Tears, tears, and I know
just what they mean
honeysuckles at night

I wrote this poem for you and haven’t lost it
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