ART DEPARTMENT

Shapiro-David

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Office:   Ben Shahn 118
Phone:   (973) 720-2406
Email:   shapirod@wpunj.edu
Office Hours:   Tuesday & Thursday 1:00pm - 2:00pm Or By Appointment

Department: Art
Area Specialization: Art History

David is a tenured art historian at William Paterson University. He has written over twenty volumes of poetry and prose, including the first book on Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine's painting, the first book on Johns' drawings (the last two from Abrams) and the first study of Mondrian's much tabooed flower studies. He has translated books from French and Spanish and recently edited a book on aesthetics: Uncontrollable Beauty.

Born in l947, David Shapiro was a violinist in his youth. His grandfather was the great Jewish cantor and composer Berele Chagy, many of whose records dating from l9l3 are still available. David received his degrees from Columbia and Cambridge Universities, but before he was fifteen he had put together many privately printed volumes of poetry. At fifteen he met Frank O'Hara, corresponded with John Ashbery, and was collaborating with Kenneth Koch and many painters of the so-called New York School.

Each of Shapiro's books has collaborations with children, including his son, whom he is currently writing a book and has often read with him at St Mark's Church and elsewhere. He is working on a new book of poetry and a book of selected poems and selected essays.

His political activities show up in his play with Laurie Anderson and Stephen Paul Miller, Harrisburg Mon Amour, an anti-nuclear play written for one actor playing two boys on a bus heading toward a nuclear meltdown. That was performed at The Kitchen by Taylor Mead with sets by Linda Francis. He edited An Anthology of New York Poets from l964 on to bring attention to the work of certain neglected poets. He believes that poetry should not be reduced by any dogmas. His last books include: Lateness, To an Idea, House (Blown Apart) and After a Lost Original, which he regards as a kind of string quartet for unaccompanied voice (all published by Overlook).