Respected poet, teacher, and critic Alan Shapiro continues his much-acclaimed explorations of childhood, family, and marriage in "Mixed Company." Revealing a world troubled by difference while struggling toward commonality, and with equal attention to historical detail and the poetics of everyday life, from the mythic past to the abrasive intimacies of the present, Shapiro charts the many ways our social and sexual identities are formed, threatened, altered, and, for good or ill, preserved. Deeply felt and ambitious, "Mixed Company" is an extraordinary book by one of the leading poets writing in America today."What draws us into Alan Shapiro's "Mixed Company" is not a conspicuous felicity or any sort of bravura, but the quiet, undaunted way he goes after the truth of human feeling and motive. . . . The poems grope and conjecture, looking for understanding . . . but whatever may remain unsolved and insoluble, the poems are full of astonishing insights, a rare articulateness, and what another age called 'knowledge of the human heart.'" --Richard Wilbur
Alan Shapiro teaches poetry and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of a collection of essays, "In Praise of the Impure: Poetry and the Ethical Imagination" (1993) and four previous books of poetry. Ill.