How Do We Grow is Eric Shieh’s most mature collection to date, but to call it so misses the point. It is a chronicle not of arrivals, but of movements—of places, origins, and choices. A visit to the ocean becomes remembrance, lovers unfold a history on their bodies, a public school negotiates its identity as teachers and students enter. Here is a book of poems that overstep into essays, of essays yearning for a poetics of political thought. Insistent and assured, Shieh mines his enduring theme of education, reminding us of all the ways the personal and public are, and must remain, simultaneous.
Eric Shieh is a Brooklyn-based poet and teacher, and one of the founding teachers of the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, “A School for a Sustainable City,” in New York. He is the author of poetry collections Public Places (2004) and Against Eventualities (2008), and his writings on education are regularly featured in The Washington Post, The Hechinger Report, and Chalkbeat (formerly Gotham Schools).