Joseph Lease's critically acclaimed books of poetry include Broken World (Coffee House Press) and Human Rights (Zoland Books). His poem "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" was selected for The Best American Poetry 2002 (Scribner). His poems have also been featured on NPR and published in The AGNI 30th Anniversary Poetry Anthology, VQR, Bay Poetics, Paris Review, and elsewhere. Of Broken World Marjorie Perloff wrote: “The poems in Joseph Lease’s Broken World are as cool as they are passionate, as soft-spoken as they are indignant, and as fiercely Romantic as they are formally contained. Whether writing an elegy for a friend who died of AIDS or playing complex variations on Rilke’s Duino Elegies (“If I cried out, / Who among the angelic orders would / Slap my face, who would steal my / Lunch money”), Lease has complete command of his poetic materials. His poems are spellbinding in their terse and ironic authority: Yes, the reader feels when s/he has finished, this is how it was—and how it is. An exquisite collection!” Thomas Fink’s book A Different Sense of Power: Problems of Community in Late-Twentieth Century U.S. Poetry includes extensive critical analysis of Lease’s poetry. Lease’s recent readings and residencies include those at the University of Minnesota, The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, City Lights Books, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, the University of Denver, Louisiana State University, West Virginia University, Stanford University, and elsewhere. Lease is Associate Professor of Writing and Literature and Chair of the MFA Program in Writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
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