A new poetry collection from New York Times-notable Poet Lauren Shapiro
BRID by Lauren Shapiro explores motherhood, the dissolution of a marriage, and grief through the lens of a shrinking pandemic space. Through a structure that alternates narrative prose poem passages with lyric poems utilizing space on the page, the form attempts to both compress and expand, mimicking the psychological space of the narrator as she moves through these difficult times. BRID examines how relationships change over time—between children and parents as well as couples, and including the narrator’s own relationship with herself and her body.
”’I think I’ve always been / a gate,’ Shapiro writes in BRID, her beautiful, deeply moving book. Situated during the pandemic’s sanctioned isolation and the resulting forced familial unity, BRID is poetry written by a poet whose faith in language is slipping. The blood of the book is the melancholy of life’s routine, the intense awe of listening to children invent words, and the bifurcated grief of seeing the world in crisis while your own life is caving in.
”With photographs of the house next door and her children’s sculptures and drawings—things that could not be closer—we somehow feel estranged. ‘Writing was a necessary first step,’ Shapiro writes, leaving it at that. Teasing us with a cliffhanger. When we’re young language is salvation, but what happens next? ‘The older I get / the fewer words I need,’ she writes. Wow. This is a new power. I love how this book scares and soothes me.”
– Sommer Browning, author of Good Actors
Lauren Shapiro is the author of Arena (CSU Poetry Center, 2020), listed as a top poetry book of 2020 in The New York Times, and Easy Math (Sarabande, 2013), which was the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and the Debut-litzer Prize for Poetry. With Kevin Gonz�lez, she co-edited The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Rescue Press, 2013). Chapbooks include House (forthcoming 2024, Finishing Line Press) and Yo-Yo Logic (DIAGRAM/New Michigan Press, 2012). She has translated poetry and prose from Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Arabic into English; her translation of Zaira Pacheco's Despertar en el Sahara will be published by Eulalia Books. Shapiro is an associate professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.