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Lawrence Joseph

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Lawrence Joseph

Poet, critic, essayist, and professor of law Lawrence Joseph was born on March 10, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan.

He received his BA and JD from the University of Michigan. He also earned a BA and MA in English from Cambridge University.

He is the author of a number of poetry collections including: Into It (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005), Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973-1993 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005), Before Our Eyes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1993), Curriculum Vitae (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988), and in Shouting at No One (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1983), which received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. He is also the author of Lawyerland (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997), a book of prose.

Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowships. Married to the painter Nancy Van Goethem, Joseph lives in New York City and teaches law at St. John's University School of Law.

by this poet

In the house in Detroit
in a room of shadows
when grandma reads her Arabic newspaper
it is difficult for me to follow her
word by word from right to left
and I do not understand
why she smiles about the Jews
who won't do business in Beirut
"because the Lebanese
are more Jew than Jew,"
or whether to believe her