How Charlie Shavers Died

And Other Poems

By Harvey Shapiro
(Wesleyan University Press, Paperback, 9780819564610, 76pp.)

Publication Date: July 2001

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With enormous wit and vitality, Harvey Shapiro's new collection of poems focuses on the approach of death, mingling canny observations of the city that never sleeps with homages to Hart Crane, George Oppen, the poet Rachel, and David Ignatow. Characterized by its focus on the urban world of New York, the Jewish tradition, and domesticity, Shapiro's poetry achieves a distinctive brilliance and true wisdom. These poems view life from the vantage of seventy-six years, deeply informed by the serious study of literature and language and always attuned to the present, as well as to the body, weather, and sex. With its passion, humor, and rich detail, this exquisite volume marks Harvey Shapiro's finest work to date.

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