Joseph Lease reading from his new poetry collection The Body Ghost from Coffee House Press. Spare, airy, exacting poems whose quietness is often at an ironic counterpoint to their fiery leftist politics. “Promise me the rich can’t sleep,” Joseph Lease begs in The Body Ghost, offering poems as light on the page as nursery rhymes, and as powerful as prayer. Here, verse conjures up the body in pain, the body politic in collapse, and the tensile strength of the filaments that connect us.
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 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. He is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts and a member of the Advisory Board of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.