Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems

Alfred A. Knopf

The eighth volume and first selected poems publication from this San Francisco based poet and art critic shows a scrupulous, if grim, observer and listener, one whose weighty clarities have grown more moving and more profound with time.  No poet is more visceral; these poems carry the sparkling tension and urgency of an artist who does not write or live intellectually, but locally.  Di Piero's sensibility seems to spring from the mood on the streets of San Francisco or float down from the flung-open shutters in his ancestors' Italian villages; the economy of his language has its source in his native South Philly, where "When I was young, they taught us not to ask. / Accept what's there. . . Brick homes, Your Show of Shows, / the mothball fleet and flaring oilworks."

About the Author

At Stanford Since: 1982


W. S. Di Piero is a poet, essayist, and translator. The most recent of his nine books of poems are  Skirts and Slacks (2001), Brother Fire (2004), and Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems (2007). The latest of his six collections of essays is City Dog (2009), When Can I See You Again? (2010), and Night of Shooting Stars: Poems of Leonardo Sinisgalli (translation, 2010). His translations include Giacomo Leopardi's Pensieri (1984), The Ellipse: Selected Poems of Leonardo Sinisgalli (1983), and Euripides' Ion (1996).  Di Piero serves as a consulting editor of Southwest Review and writes frequently about the visual arts.  He's a frequent contributor to Threepenny Review and Poetry. He teaches the Stegner Poetry Workshop.