Fiocco said she thinks it’s important for readers to be able to interact with authors and experience their work from a whole new perspective.
“We’re very fortunate to have these nationally-known writers in our community, and to have them appear together just makes the occasion more joyous,” Fiocco said. "It’s always enjoyable to hear poetry read in public, so a crowd can experience the works together.”
After working with Shapiro and Calvocoressi in the past, Fiocco said she’s expecting a large turnout from each of their loyal fan bases.
“Both of these poets are very good at what they do, and they each have a fantastic presence when they read their work,” Fiocco said. “This event should be especially entertaining and soulful. Each poet has their own fans, so the energy should be good as well.”
Tuesday’s discussion will begin at 7 p.m. at Flyleaf Books.
Staff writer Zach Goins spoke with Shapiro about his book.
The Daily Tar Heel: Can you tell me some basic information about "Life Pig?"
Alan Shapiro: The poems in "Life Pig" are directly or indirectly about my mother's death a few years ago, about what it was like to care for her through her dying and about the memories her dying evoked. She lived on social security checks which were too large to qualify for Medicaid, but not large enough to pay her rent. So a lot of her end-of-life care fell to me.
DTH: How many poems are included in the book and how long did it take to write?
AS: Not sure, maybe 40 or so poems. About four years.
DTH: How does it feel after completing such a big project?
AS: It feels a little melancholy, actually. I love working, I love having something to work on, I love getting lost in a project, so I feel a little bereft when it comes to a close. For me, writing is a way of being happy even if what I’m writing about is how unhappy I am.
DTH: What is your favorite thing about poetry?
AS: Making something beautiful and right on the page out of experiences that are often not beautiful and wrong off the page.
DTH: What's it like being a published author as well as teaching at UNC?
AS: Being a writer is no big deal; it's just what I do whether or not what I write gets published. In that sense it's no different from being a proctologist, though the hours are longer. I have been teaching at UNC since 1995. I love working here. Colleagues are great, students are even greater, especially our creative writing minors – terrifically talented, and wonderfully dedicated.
DTH: What's your favorite genre of writing, besides poetry?
AS: Writing is writing. I don't have a favorite genre. I've written three memoirs, a novel, a book of critical essays and done a lot of translation. All of it has been equally satisfying. It sure beats sitting in a room talking to yourself, though much of the time it resembles that.