Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Karl Jay Shapiro  

Pen Name: Karl Shapiro

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1913 in Baltimore, Maryland

Died: May 14, 2000

-- Karl Jay Shapiro on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

English Professor, UIC, 1966-68, and was Editor for Poetry, Chicago, Illinois, 1956-66.

Biographical and Professional Information

Shapiro was a poet, editor of poetry, scholar and teacher. He was appointed the fifth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1946.Shapiro's last work, ''Coda: Last Poems'', was published in a collected volume post-mortem by editor Robert Phillips in 2008. The poems, divided into three sections according to love poems to his last wife, poems concerning roses, and other various poems, were discovered in the drawers of Shapiro's desk by his wife two years after his death.

Published Works

  • V-Letter and Other Poems, Reynal, 1944
  • Essay on Rime, Secker & Warburg, 1945,
  • Trial of a Poet and Other Poems, Reynal, 1947,
  • Poems of a Jew, Random House, 1958,
  • The Bourgeois Poet, Random House, 1964,
  • Selected Poems, Random House , 1968,
  • Adult Book Store, Random House, 1976,
  • Love and War, Art and God, Stuart Wright, 1984,
  • Adam and Eve, Press Alley, 1986,
  • New and Selected Poems, 1940-1986, University of Chicago Press, 1987,
  • The Wild Card, Selected Poems, Early and Late, University of Illinois Press, 1998,
  • Coda: The Last Poem, Texas Review, 2008

Selected Titles At Your Library

Love & war, art & God :
ISBN: 0913773107. OCLC Number:

Stuart Wright,. [Winston-Salem, N.C.] :. ©1984.

New & selected poems, 1940-1986 /
ISBN: 0226750337. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1987.

Admirers of Shapiro's work will welcome this volume of poems selected by the poet himself from over 50 years' work. Shapiro is a craftsman with an eye for detail. In poems such as ``Drug Store, '' ``Haircut, '' and ``The Tingling Back, '' he finds cause for personal celebration in the most quotidian occurrences; yet he is equally adept at probing more public subjects in ``The Conscientious Objector, '' ``Israel'' and ``Vietnam Memorial.

The wild card :
ISBN: 0252023897. OCLC Number:

University of Illinois Press,. Urbana :. ©1998.

The Wild Card is that gem among books: a selection of those enduring works that will definitively represent the poet as one of the major artists of our time. Karl Shapiro, who won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1945 for his second collection, V-Letter and Other Poems, is an American poetic treasure and an acknowledged master of lyrical poetry whose subjects have ranged from commonplace objects and occurrences to biting political commentary to open celebrations of the "necessary contradictions" in humanity's moral nature.

Coda :
ISBN: 1933896213. OCLC Number:

Texas Review Press,. Huntsville, Tex. :. 2008.

"This collection is compiled from the unpublished poems of Karl Shapiro at the University of Texas in Austin and elsewhere. They are largely as Shapiro left them, in a desk drawer in his apartment in uptown Manhattan."--BOOK JACKET.


Awarded the contemporary Poetry Prize in 1943 for

V-Letter and Other Poems