The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 26, 2007

"I Know Of No Defense Against Those Addicted To Death"

I find it very interesting that Lawrence Joseph chose to introduce his poem 'Unyieldingly Present' by paraphrasing a quote from Wallace Stevens and describing his work as "a poem that presses back against the violence from without."

Not just because of the quote, which quite accurately sums up the poem, but because both Joseph and Stevens are poets as well as being lawyers--Stevens practiced insurance law in Connecticut and Joseph now teaches law in New York City. Another cool fact about Lawrence Joseph is the screenplay being based on his novel, Lawyerland, and, slightly less cool to anyone who didn't grow up in the midwest, he and I are both from the Detroit area.

Here's Joseph reading 'Unyieldingly Present' from his latest book, Into It, which you can buy online.


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Barbara Jones

What a powerful poem and reading. Thank you! This is an excellent site and resource for my high school students.

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