Poet Jason Shinder Dies

April 27, 2008 | No Comments

Jason Shinder died at home in New York, this Friday, after a long illness. Shinder wrote two poetry collections, Every Room We Ever Slept In and Among Women, and edited several anthologies, including Best American Movie Writing and The Poem That Changed America: Howl. Shinder taught in the Bennington Writing Seminars, where I was fortunate enough to say “hello” to him there, and was director of the Sundance Insitute’s Writing Program. Here is his poem, “Eternity.”

“A poem written three thousand years ago

about a man who walks among horses
grazing on a hill under the small stars

comes to life on a page in a book

and the woman reading the poem
in her kitchen filled with a gold, metallic light

finds the experience of living in that moment

so vividly described as to make her feel known
to another; until the woman and the poet share

not only their souls but the exact silence

between each word. And every time the poem is read,
no matter her situation or her age,

this is more or less what happens.”