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Joseph Lease and Hank Lazer Reading
March 3, 2020 @ 7:00 pm PSTFree
Joseph Lease’s critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” and “Send My Roots Rain” were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. Lease’s poem “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” was anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, Guest Editor). His poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in The New York Times.
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 . . . 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!”
Of The Body Ghost, David Shapiro wrote: “When I was very young, my father a ‘skin doctor’ would show gleaming models of body parts at medical fairs. They frightened my sisters but they were also illuminations of a whole world. Joseph’s poems are like
these terrifying wholes/holes. They travel into us. Joseph has been making an American Buddhist poetry, and he is as maximalist as flesh and bone. He gives me the sensation that poetry is in gleaming hands, healing and grasping and letting go. He is the future of poetry.”
Lease’s poetry is also collected at PennSound, The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, KQED (NPR), The Scottish Poetry Library, The Poetry Project, Bay Poetics, The AGNI 35th Anniversary Poetry Anthology, Litscapes 2015, The Colorado Review, The Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, The Brooklyn Rail, Interim, and elsewhere. Lease has been asked to read at numerous colleges and universities. He has received The Academy of American Poets Prize and numerous grants and awards in poetry and poetics from Columbia University, Brown University, Harvard University, and California College of the Arts. Lease is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts.
Hank Lazer has published twenty-four books of poetry, including Poems Hidden in Plain View (2016, in English and in French), Brush Mind: At Hand (2016), N24 (2014) and N18 (2012), Portions (2009), The New Spirit (2005), Elegies & Vacations (2004), and Days (2002). Selected Poems and Essays of Hank Lazer, completed by a group of translators, was published by Central China Normal University Press in 2015. Lazer’s Selected Poems have also been published in Italy and will be appearing shortly in Cuba (including 11 tracks for jazz-poetry improvisations with soprano saxophonist Andrew Raffo Dewar). Readings and interviews can be accessed through PennSound, as well as in special issues of Plume (#34) and Talisman (#42). In 2015, Lazer received Alabama’s most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature. His books of criticism include Opposing Poetries (two volumes, 1996) and Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008 (2008). With Charles Bernstein, he edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama Press. Lazer retired from the University of Alabama in January 2014 from his positions as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Executive Director of Creative Campus, and Professor of English