In Memory of an Angel named to this list of books Forward is reading in 2017: "A member of the second generation of the New York School, following such notables as John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara, Shapiro's poems dive between the earthly and ethereal."
"So blithe, teasing, and buoyant. Yet these charming, whirling poems are like the bright, wind-tossed spray, the lacy frill and froth dancing at the peaks of a deep, dark brooding sea. Shapiro has been writing poetry for more than five decades, and his riddling lyrics are veined with allusions to literature, art, history, science, and religion. A member of the New York School, he has written about the work of John Ashbery and was a friend of Kenneth Koch. Shapiro calls out to them and other poets, from Blake and Shelley to Allen Ginsberg and Ron Padgett, in his first collection in 15 years. He muses on the curious act of writibng poems and revels in nature, especially on the wing, from fireflies to hummingbirds. Jewish thought also shapes his quicksilver poems in which formal structures provide intricate trellises for his blooming, swooping images and thorny, vining thoughts. Shapiro asks, 'If one saves a butterfly, has one saved the world?' A musically musing, erudite, yet light-footed collection taht revitalizes a key poetic movement." Donna Seaman, Booklist