How Lauren Shapiro’s Poems Remind Us That We’re Not Just Brains in Jars
This Week on the Literary Disco Podcast
On this episode, Rider, Tod, and Julia discuss Lauren Shapiro’s 2020 poetry collection, Arena.
From the episode:
Rider Strong: The use of bodies in this collection is really interesting. She talks about her father’s body in the opening, and that poem [about movie extras posing as dead bodies] obviously sets up the whole idea of bodies and dead bodies, whether they’re real dead bodies or fake dead bodies. But then also, it feels to me that using the word body over and over again, she keeps reminding us of the corporeality of our existence. Because there’s a tension there. She keeps almost forgetting that she has a body or that there is a body. And I feel that way oftentimes, that most of my existence these days is in a mental place or an online space or a social space, and you have to be reminded, no, no no, there’s a body somewhere, and that body is you, or that body is your father. It’s a really weird thing that she keeps doing, and every time it pops into a poem, I was like, right, right—there’s a tension there between thought and body, or existence or identity and body itself. And it’s jarring every time it comes in.
To listen to the rest of the episode, as well as the whole archive of Literary Disco, subscribe and listen on iTunes or wherever else you find your favorite podcasts.