Natalie Shapero’s Hard Child is a necessary companion for a world filled with ambiguity. Possessing rapid-fire comedic timing, Shapero touches on subjects such as religion, perpetual war, birth, and death—exposing humanity’s often faulty sense of what’s important and displaying a willingness to self-incriminate. These poems exhibit an expansive, searching sensibility that balks at the standard-issue hopes and fears of modern American culture.
“The poems in Natalie Shapero’s Hard Child come as close as lyric poems can to perfection… She teaches us how to retain the self without disappearing into the object we behold. She holds herself at various distances from the thing considered. She drives us toward a view and back again. This is how to write a lyric poem.” —Judges’ citation, Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist, 2018