About Natalie Shapero

Natalie Shapero is a Kenyon Review Fellow and the author of No Object, a book of poems.

Playing the Hits

With its premium on concision, pacing, and meditative gaze, stand-up comedy is probably the medium of performance most readily analogized to poetry. That is, when it comes to issues of shape, technique, and voice. As to whether the “industry norms”…

Gather Ye Butter While Ye May

I’m easily spooked by the sheer indelibility of the printed word, a predicament compounded by the internet’s near-infinite archival capacity. It’d be nice, I often think, to work in a more ephemeral medium, like sandcastles or skywriting or face paint.…

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

Whenever Anne Sexton received a rejection letter from a magazine, she would add it to an ever-growing stack she kept in a filing cabinet. Sexton used to say that God was monitoring her rejections pile, waiting for the moment when…

William Styron’s Paper Skin, etc.

The top five surprises from the newly released Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012): 5. A yacht party with JFK and Jackie. In a letter to his father in 1962, Styron recounts the afternoon: “We were sitting around a…

Hiding Something

Literature is full of invented words, and we’re accustomed to these coinages making the leap into everyday usage. The words nerd and gargantuan, for example, made their first appearances in works of fiction. The same is true of lie detector. However, lie…

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