Being Called Normal
Published by tall-lighthouse, February 2021
Being Called Normal is written as a direct response to the clinical experiences of the poet in how the ‘system’ accepts and treats (or doesn’t) children with (dys) abilities. The poems are a dialogue between her documented psycho-educational evaluations and her reaction to the analysis and words used. This heartfelt sequence exposes the tribulations of people carelessly labeled (dys). Here is poetry that challenges our assumptions, posing as many questions as it answers.
“The Following Relevant Information Was Obtained”
In this compelling pamphlet, Shapiro speaks back to the impersonal language of diagnostic evaluations as a ‘girl [once] silenced’ – by juxtaposing text taken from her own medical report with creative responses she illustrates the brilliance of her own mind.
— Mary Jean Chan
The Bullshit Cosmos
Published by ignitionPress, July 2019
The Bullshit Cosmos is a highly distinctive pamphlet that celebrates triumph over adversity, defiance against the system, success over predicted failure. The poems explore the gap between those who read with ease and those who struggle to read. Honestly written, they provide a starkly refreshing approach to our language in a poetry that is provocative and challenging, compassionate and engaging.
“When I Turn Thirty I Have An Epiphany”
“Sarah Shapiro’s formally inventive poems give readers insight into new ways of learning and hearing words. The poems look back on a difficult education, ‘seven times teachers said to my face you’re stupid,’ and from this the poet ‘would resist the bullshit cosmos: know unfair.’ This generous collection gives fresh attention to reading and text while conveying a contagious, direct joy that revels in the language around us.”
— Jill McDonough
Buy Bullshit Cosmos from Porter Square Books – $6 – In-store only, Cambridge, MA
Buy Bullshit Cosmos from Grolier Poetry Book Shop – $6 – In-store only, Cambridge, MA
Buy Bullshit Cosmos from the publisher – £5 + shipping from Oxford, UK