Week of  February 9 | Alan Shapiro

Alan Shapiro has become one of my favorite poets. The reason this has happened is the honesty, candor, and style with which he treats his subjects. This week's interview focuses on an elegy he wrote for his brother David, a Broadway performer. 

The book is titled SONG AND DANCE: POEMS, and chronicles the love the brothers shared as they dealt with the diagnosis of inoperable brain cancer David received in 1998. SONG AND DANCE: POEMS was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2002.

In 1997 Mr. Shapiro wrote a book titled VIGIL, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1997. VIGIL is the story of Alan's sister Beth's final four weeks in a hospice, where she died from breast cancer.

Our interview took place at the University of the South in July, 2004. At the time Mr. Shapiro was dealing with a measure of loss that few of us will ever have to face. I found him to be full of life, involved in a loving relationship, and totally available to his students. 

He believes in the power of poetry and in the power of love. It was an honor to interview him. I hope you enjoy his work. It is a beautiful tribute to a brother he was in love with.   


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