Welcome to the reader’s companion for work by Harvey Shapiro (1924–2013). Shapiro was an important figure in American letters. After returning from WWII, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, he attended Yale University and Columbia University, gaining a Masters in American Literature. He taught at Cornell University, Bard College, Columbia University, and Yale University, but is better known for his roles as editor of The New York Time Book Review (1975–83) and as an editor of The New York Times Magazine, where he served for forty years.
Shapiro’s work is multifaceted. There are poems about war (he was the editor of the volume Poets of World War II,) poems of love and passion (he is considered a great erotic poet,) and anecdotal poems–often imbued with his Jewish sensibility. As he aged, Shapiro dealt more with issues of aging and death. In his final poems, found in A Momentary Glory: Last Poems, Shapiro faces age, illness, and mortality. Yet the poet retains his edginess, his clever wit, and jazzy style.
Author picture courtesy of Ken Robbins.