Monday, January 14, 2013

Poet Harvey Shapiro: 1924-2013

We were a little bummed out to learn that noted poet and sometimes East Hampton resident Harvey Shapiro has died. The 88 year old was just a couple weeks shy of his 89th birthday. He was one of the old-school artist yeoman, an editor at multiple print publications and was devoted to letters.

I had the privilege of meeting Shapiro when he visited Southampton College to read in the mid-1990s. He committed a lot of his poems to memory and was a very open and inviting guest poet. He sat with us as young writers and was not in the least bit condescending. In hindsight, after reading his obituary in the New York Times and the East Hampton Star, I'm sort of glad I didn't realize (at 22) how important he was to literature because I probably wouldn't have mustered the courage to speak to him. As it was, we had a great conversation and he left an impression on me.

The two obits are well done. Give them a read. As for Harvey...thanks for leaving your mark before leaving.

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