"The coherence Shapiro prizes is both more thorough and more thoroughgoing than that offered by a moralizing intelligence. His poetry comes by its sad wisdom through its accomodations to human happenstance and estrangement. . . .In "Covenant," sympathy grounds itself in worldly particulars, and subjectivity begets responsibilities. Hardnosed yet tenderly attentive, Shapiro's acute self-consciousness distills an exacting conscientiousness." David Barber, "Poetry" "At forty-years-old and already the author of four superbly written books of poems, Shapiro has produced a work of such authority and originality that he has permanently enlarged my hopes and expectations for contemporary poetry. His risk-loving swiftness of perception and his affinity for stories that up-end convention and taboo have enabled him to reclaim, for poets of my generation, areas of feeling and linguistic virtuosity that originated with William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, J. V. Cunningham, and Ivor Winters. It is hard for me to see how an ideal anthologist of the future will be able to include their names without gratefully including his." Tom Sleigh, "Boston Phoenix" "
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