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Arena
By Lauren Shapiro

"Thoughtfully, painfully, bitterly, lovingly, the poems in Lauren Shapiro's ARENA expose how the limits of the unreal become real when one is forced to interrogate a family member's attempted suicide. But what is interrogated and assimilated and articulated is not just death, mourning, loss, and absence. Rather, in Shapiro's ARENA, there is a crowd witnessing and absorbing an artwork where atrocity, bureaucracy, history, and spectacle merge to form a performance that we are unable to look away from. Shapiro refuses to soften the most powerful blows that prevent us from filtering out the unspeakable as we struggle to live a quotidian life when all that we know explodes. This is a poignant and stunning achievement."-Daniel Borzutzky

Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Paperback |