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Eric Paul Shaffer

Eric Paul Shaffer, a professor at Honolulu Community College, recently published a collection of poems entitled A Million-Dollar Bill.

A Million-Dollar Bill is a poem included in the book, which Shaffer made the chosen title piece because it was well received and expressed many of the themes of the volume. The poem is based on a North Carolina Wal-Mart incident—a man attempted to purchase goods with a million dollar bill of his own design and he was arrested and charged. Intrigued and astonished, Shaffer drafted A Million-Dollar Bill presenting a speaker in that situation trying to explain himself.

“I read and write poetry because poems explain our values to us, measure out life in lines that we can examine one at a time and allow us to experience the worlds of many other people to see what they values and whether we agree,” said Shaffer. “I seek the significance in ordinary moments and try to focus the wisdom in those mementos on a page so that people can better regard and consider what they see every day.”

“Because of my A Million-Dollar Bill readings, I have met many more wonderful people who are as enthusiastic about reading and about reading poetry as I am. One of the very best results of publishing this book has been renewing my interaction and community with my audience,” said Shaffer.

A Million-Dollar Bill by Eric Paul Shaffer

A Million-Dollar Bill highlights

  • The book contains some of Shaffer’s favorite poems, in particular, Watermelon Seeds, The Word-Swallower, Man Overboard, How I Lost My Library Card, The Godzilla Delusion and Illumination.
  • Every poem in this volume has been previously published in a review, journal, or magazine nationally or internationally.
  • The book’s back cover features a poem, which the author believes will make readers more likely to open the book.

A Million-Dollar Bill is available at Grayson Books and Amazon.

More about Eric Paul Shaffer

Shaffer is the author of five books of poetry including Lāhaina Noon; Living at the Monastery, Working in the Kitchen and Portable Planet. More than 400 of his poems have appeared in more than 200 local, national and international reviews.

He has received a number of local literary awards, including the 2002 Elliot Cades Award, a 2006 Ka Palapala Poʻokela Book Award for Lāhaina Noon and the 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry.

—By Aviana Finn

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