Saturday, April 10, 2010

Meet Lynne Shapiro

On 22 April 2010 St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights (NY - 4pm to 6pm), will host in its Maroney Theater (7th floor) readings by some of the contributors to the book Pain and Memory (currently discounted on Amazon). Lynne Shapiro has but one poem, “Souvenir,” in the anthology, but this tiny gem of a story epitomizes best what the book seeks to explore – the complex nexus between momentary, physical experience and the long stretch of human recall. Come to the reading and meet Lynne – start by reading the history of her writing life here, in her own words. Scroll down for blog/bios. on some other readers (Anique Taylor, Anne Whitehouse, and Ruth Sabath Rosenthal); there is one more blog/bio. yet to come in the next few days.

Poet and essayist Lynne Shapiro has had work published in Apparatus Magazine, BluePrintReview, Centrifugal Eye, FragLit: An Online Magazine of Fragmentary Writing, Hiss Quarterly, The Mom Egg, Mslexia, Ozone Park, Qarrtsiluni, Quay, Soundzine, Switchback,, Trespass, Umbrella, and included in the following anthologies: Decomposition: Fungi-inspired Poems (Lost Horse Press), Eating Her Wedding Dress, A Collection of Clothing Poems, (Ragged Sky Press), and Mourning Sickness – Stories and Poems About Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss, (Omni Arts Press). This year Lynne was a featured poet in East-West Magazine of Bicoastal Verse and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

If I didn’t have my family, I don’t think I would write. They give me love and security, keep me from other pre-occupations. Not so long ago, I was driven to the brink of madness by the handsome, smiling men you see in the photo. At the same time, I felt my world and my position in it had shriveled. I told myself to “get a life,” walked down to a local writing group and, after decades of promising myself I would one day write, I did just that. I started with children’s books. Ever practical, I wanted my writing to be useful - but then the poetry began to flow. After years of teaching and talking about poetry and art, I finally allowed myself to become an artist.

Poetry has enabled me to connect and collect all of myself in one place, I’ve written poems about where I’ve lived (Ozone Park, Queens; Culver City, California; Waltham, Massachusetts; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Hoboken, New Jersey), where I’ve worked (as a teacher, museum educator, editor) and about what I’ve studied (passiflora, shade gardening, ornithology, 20th Century art, Dada and Surrealist literature, cinema, photography).

In a way, when I write, I curate. For me, each poem is a tiny exhibition.