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Creative Glut: Selected Essays
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Creative Glut: Selected Essays (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (the position later to be known as "poet laureate"), editor of Poetry magazine-Karl Shapiro was among the commanding poets of the second half of the twentieth century, yet in many circles he is scarcely remembered today. A recent revival of interest in Shapiro has occurred with the Library of America's volume of his poems, edited by John Updike. Now, in this sparkling collection edited by Robert Phillips, Shapiro's most trenchant writings on poetry, poets, and cultural matters are once again available. They display the intelligence, power, and intellectual courage that made Shapiro one of the most important essayists of his generation. He was "a lively and slashing critic," Joseph Epstein has written, "and reading him one feels windows opening, clouds passing, sunlight, and a fresh breeze entering the room." Creative Glut contains twenty essays on such poets and writers as Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Auden, William Carlos Williams, Dylan Thomas, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and Randall Jarrell, and on questions of poetry and American culture that Shapiro felt as urgent, including his celebrated pieces "In Defense of Ignorance" and "To Abolish Children." In all, this is a savory slice of some of the most challenging criticism of our late century.

Karl Shapiro (1913-2000) was born in Baltimore, studied at Virginia and Johns Hopkins, and served in the southwest Pacific in World War II. He returned home with the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for his second book of poems, V-Letter and Other Poems, and went on to a long and distinguished career as an American poet, writing books of poetry, autobiography, and essays (including In Defense of Ignorance, The Bourgeois Poet, White-Haired Lover, and To Abolish Children), and teaching at various universities. Robert Phillips teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Houston and is Karl Shapiro's literary executor.

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