Alan Shapiro Night of the Republic

ISBN 13: 9780547329703

Night of the Republic

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An urgent and timely collection by one of America’s most inventive and accessible poets

In Night of the Republic, Alan Shapiro takes us on an unsettling night tour of America’s public places—a gas station restroom, shoe store, convention hall, and race track among others—and in stark Edward Hopper–like imagery reveals the surreal and dreamlike features of these familiar but empty night spaces. Shapiro finds in them not the expected alienation but rather an odd, companionable solitude rising up from the quiet emptiness.

In other poems, Shapiro writes movingly of his 1950s and 60s childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts, with special focus on the house he grew up in. These meditations, always inflected with Shapiro’s quick wit and humor, lead to recollections of tragic and haunting events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of JFK. While Night of the Republic is Shapiro’s most ambitious work to date, it is also his most timely and urgent for the acute way it illuminates the mingling of private obsessions with public space.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for Alan Shapiro

“What makes Shapiro so important to American poetry right now is the success with which he’s taken over the territory of fiction writers. While his poems maintain the compression and intensity of lyric, they also open to the twists and bursts of colloquial American speech, that mongrel medium with which we craft our lives together . . . His poems are both artful and unpretentious.”—Boston Review

[Shapiro] seeks what lies at the deepest level of the human heart.”—Chicago Tribune Books

“Mr. Shapiro is a shrewd and sympathetic moralist. He never trivializes his subjects with high-minded flourishes or stylistic gimmicks . . . [H]is seriousness is admirable . . . [and his] poems are not likely to be forgotten.”—New York Times

“[In Shapiro’s poems], the intensity of love at its height—love of another person, love of life itself—is what stays with the reader, with a depth and density that [is] one of Shapiro’s more outstanding achievements.”—Tikkun

“[Shapiro holds] fast to love and joy in an often unjust, brutal world.”—Washington Post

About the Author:

ALAN SHAPIRO is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a former recipient of the Kingsley Tufts Award and the Los Angeles Book Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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