Award-winning poet Alan Shapiro offers a new collection of poems reflecting on mortality and finitude.
Alan Shapiro's fourteenth collection of poetry, Proceed to Check Out, is a kind of summing up, or stock-taking, by an aging poet, of his precarious place in a world dominated by the ever-accelerating pace of technological innovation, political disruption, personal loss, and racial strife. These poems take on fundamental subjects -- like the nature of time and consciousness and how or why we become who we are -- but Shapiro presses them into becoming urgent and timely.
Employing idiomatic range and formal variety, Shapiro's poems move through recurring dreams, the coercions of childhood, and the mysterious connections of mind and matter, pleasure and memory. They meet an abiding need to find empathy and understanding in even the most challenging places -- amid disaffection, public discord, and estrangement. His grasp of contemporary life -- in all its insidious violence and beauty -- is distinct, comprehensive, and profound.
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