Unfortunately, I don't have permission to post the whole of Hairless, or of Scorpion or any of the other poems in Shapcott's incredible collection Of Mutability (Faber), but I am working on it. The book is the first purchase I've made with the incredible $500 I won last week in the Caselberg Poetry Competition (see previous post). It feels like the right first purchase before all the other clamorous less glamorous things get a foothold.
I admired the beautiful hardcovered Faber book in the bookshop where I work for three weeks before purchasing it. It was the lovely olive green slip cover, it was the sticker that said Shapcott beat off all other contenders (fiction, biography etc) to win the UK's prestigious Costa Award, it was poems that opened: 'Can the bald lie...?'
A Telegraph article describes this poet's background: Shapcott read English at Trinity College Dublin, and later studied poetry at Harvard under Seamus Heaney and Robert Fitzgerald, “a great classicist” and a “very strict teacher” who taught metre and form and whose highest praise was “NTB – not too bad”. There, she says, “my ear was tuned up for language”. These days, she is president of the Poetry Society and teaches creative writing at Royal Holloway.
And there's a great video interview with Shapcott here