Why would two sisters drop out of college and bicycle 3500 miles across America? Let the Wind Push Us Across awakens in us the transformational power of holding fast to one’s dream, not quitting, and going for it no matter what. Determined to dip their tires in the Pacific and 11 weeks later in the Atlantic, the sisters saw an America that few young women witnessed in the 1970s. Before GPS navigation, the Internet and cell phones, this was a remarkable accomplishment. Forty years later, Jane Schapiro recalls the epic ride in poems, philosophical observations, and photographs. Her book is a tour de force, a heart-felt literary achievement. Poignant and refreshing, it is mandatory reading for those who believe that Adventure is not found in a guidebook and Beauty is not on the map.
–Renny Russell, author of On the Loose and Rock Me on the Water
Jane Schapiro is the author of two volumes of poetry, Let the Wind Push Us Across (Antrim House, 2017) and Tapping This Stone (Washington Writers’ Publishing House, 1995). The nonfiction book Inside a Class Action: The Holocaust and the Swiss Banks (University of Wisconsin, 2003) was selected for the Notable Trials Library. Her chapbook Mrs. Cave’s House won the 2012 Sow’s Ear Poetry Chapbook competition. Her essays and poems have appeared in publications such as the American Book Review, The American Scholar, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, The Sun, and Yankee among others.
"Sometimes In The Morning" is an excerpt from Let The Wind Push Us Across.
Photos by Shin-ichi Kumanomido
Website by Eliana Brown
Sometimes in the morning
before opening my eyes,
I dream of our tent,
that tiny green dome.
From behind its walls
thin as skin, I hear birds,
leaves, a brush of wind.
I yearn for that waking,
that once tethered dawn when
unzipping the door
I leaned into the world.
About Jane Schapiro
Interview with Jane Schapiro:
Q: When did you first realize that you were a writer? Can you pinpoint a specific time in your life, or did you always know that you wanted to write?
I didn't discover that I loved to write until I was already finished with formal schooling. I wish I had known earlier because I would have chosen college courses differently. I would have benefited from reading and discussing the classics with others. I ended up going back and reading many of the masters on my own. The first creative piece I wrote was an essay about my stay on a kibbutz in Israel. What is memorable is not the piece but how totally absorbed I became while writing it. I remember sitting and writing for hours and being stunned afterwards at how completely oblivious to the outside world I had been for those hours. I had never before experienced such total escape and I craved it, so I wrote more. The more I wrote, the more I craved the feeling. I eventually landed on poetry as the vehicle for me though over the years I have also written nonfiction.
Q: What is the best writing advice you ever received and from whom?
C.K. Williams once told me that a good poem employs many of the same characteristics as a good joke. I agree with that.
Read the full interview and reviews here.
My poem, "Cemetery," was recently published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly.
Let The Wind Push Us Across is a photographic poetry narrative chronicling the cross-country bicycle trip my sister and I took in 1976. Listen to the podcast where I reflect on the trip, the book and my journey as a writer.
Reading at Reston Used Bookstore
News & Chatter
Let The Wind Push Us Across
©2017 Antrim House
"Her book is a tour de force, a heart-felt literary achievement. Poignant and refreshing, it is mandatory reading for those who believe that Adventure is not found in a guidebook and Beauty is not on the map."
-- Renny Russell, author of On the Loose and Rock Me on the Water
Now available to order:
Mrs. Cave's House
Vol.XXIII, No. 1 © 2013 Sow's Ear Poetry Review
Winner of the 2012 Sow's Ear Chapbook Competition.
Individual poems published in The Panhandler, Prairie Schooner,
Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review,
The Southern Review, Yankee.
Inside a Class Action
©2003 University of Wisconsin Press
"A must read for anybody interested in the details of how a group of dogged individuals uncovered the truth involving Swiss banks and the Holocaust"
--Kenneth R. Feinberg, adjunct professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center
"With a mastery of the legal issues and a keen eye for the human drama, Schapiro has made the intensity of the historic litigation come alive"
--Michael Berenbaum, director of the Sigi Ziering Institute and author of The World Must Know
Available to order:
Tapping This Stone
©1995 Washington Writers' Publishing House
Winner of the 1995 Poetry Book Competition
"Read the poem "Carcinoma" and discover how Jane Schapiro can infuse the domestic with ferocity and terror. Read "in my other life" for how she can find the poetry in pain, the sympathy in the imaginary. And "Postpartum" for how life can still be touched by myth in our dim, sad age. A fine book.
Available to order: