Karl Jay Shapiro (November 10, 1913 – May 14, 2000) was an American poet. He was appointed the fifth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1946.
Karl Shapiro was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from the Baltimore City College high school. He attended the University of Virginia before World War II, and immortalized it in a scathing poem called "University," which noted that "to hate the Negro and avoid the Jew is the curriculum." He did not return after his military service.
In his later work, he experimented with more open forms, beginning with The Bourgeois Poet (1964) and continuing with White-Haired Lover (1968). The influences of Walt Whitman, D. H. Lawrence, W. H. Auden and William Carlos Williams were evident in his work.
Shapiro's interest in formal verse and prosody led to his writing multiple books on the subject including the long poem Essay on Rime (1945), A Bibliography of Modern Prosody (1948), and A Prosody Handbook (with Robert Beum, 1965; reissued 2006)...
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