Karl Jay Shapiro
"The Bourgeois Poet"

Karl Shapiro

Karl Shapiro was one of the most distinctive American writers of the twentieth century. He was the author of numerous beautifully made poems written in an everyday American idiom, and of provocative and bold criticisms of America’s culture, especially its ruling poetry establishment. He argued passionately for the value of the American experience as subject matter for poetry, and for the use of an authentic American voice to express it.

Karl was many things to poetry over the course of his long career: a skilled practitioner of the art, an iconoclastic critic and gadfly, a teacher, an editor, a mentor and advocate for other writers, a standard bearer. He was a man who believed in the uniqueness of being American and strove to understand its meaning through his work.

This website is dedicated
to the preservation of his legacy
as a man of letters.

site hosted by the Stadler Poetry Center,
Bucknell University

Copyright © 2001-2002 Arthur Hoyle