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[104 pages]
ISBN 978-0-9840285-0-4



How We Saved the City | Kate Schapira

How We Saved the City examines gentrification, ghosts, and concurrent and successive cities in Kate Schapira’s chosen home of Providence, RI. Through a range of formal strategies and imagined dialogues, these poems raise urgent and timely questions: who decides what a city and its people need? Who has power, in various forms, to make real their versions of the city and themselves? Racketeers, artists, criminals, activists, profiteers and lovers cross and recross, build and rebuild the contested terrain of property, gender, habitation and change.

Advance Praise

How We Saved the City is a brilliant investigative architectural blueprint of the social corpus. This charged document confronts the complexity of contra- diction and struggle that bodies experience in their municipalities, ecosystems, and social interactions. Kate Schapira engages what is countenanced side by side with what is displaced, discarded and condemned as foregone conclusions, uncovering insidious, decisive, and/or illusive schematics underpinning culture. This is a charged book of great sensitivity and vision that picks up on the work of social theorists such as Avery F. Gordon, Zygmunt Bauman and Susan Buck-Morss. An improvisational lyric mode parses entities barely presenced into a "grammar ethical" of manifold proportion.

Brenda Iijima, author of If Not Metamorphic


Divisions of the world fade into one another and once in awhile a poet comes along who can build a bridge to this magic for us. Kate Schapira is marvelous, precise, carefully introducing one ghost to another, "pen the historically so / accumulation / will strangle them," and one reader at a time to our ears. How We Saved the City is the kind of poetry I want in my life every time I read. Schapira's poetry is the world I want every part of my day.

CAConrad, author of The Book of Frank


cover artists:

Tom Bubul, Cybele Collins, Jo Dery,
Jungil Hong, Xander Marro, James McShane, Mike Taylor


photo credit: James McShane

KATE SCHAPIRA is the author of three other books of poetry: TOWN (Factory School, Heretical Texts, 2010), The Bounty: Four Addresses (Noemi Press, 2011) and The Soft Place (forthcoming from Horse Less Press in 2012). She's also the author of chapbooks from Flying Guillotine, Horse Less, Cy Gist and Rope-A-Dope Presses, from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, and forthcoming from dancing girl press. She co-curates the Publicly Complex Reading Series in Providence, RI, where she writes, teaches, and works as a Writer in the Schools.

See: Ramshackle Empress



...The city where you are king may overlap a city where you are unsustained. City of your ghost style where you take on solidity. Hand over the keys to your safety, keep the city. Cover the city with your own body as the mud settles....

...Cities superscripted, motions between them rimmed in glass. Openings between them like the mouths of birds. Like differences between the mouths of birds and their nests.

-- Kate Schapira