Influences and Contemporaries


The Objectivists. Though Shapiro did not consider himself an Objectivist poet, he was mentored and influenced by them, and many critics aligned him with the movement. See:

Jazz. Of Sights Along The Harbor, Norman Finkelstein wrote: “What Shapiro can do with the first-person, anecdotal mode is close kin to a jazz master’s version of an old standard.” The cadence of Shapiro’s poems recall such masters. See:

Jewish life. Shapiro spoke Yiddish as a child, and one of the most important themes in his work was his own Jewish roots. Several historical Jewish figures from history recur in his poetry.

New York City poets. In an interview with Galen Williams for The Brooklyn Rail, Shapiro named “urban poetry, city poetry” as one of the most important aspects of his work. Living and working in Manhattan and Brooklyn, he encountered other poets–both physically and through history–who anchored him to the city.

Other influences: