Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos Poems 1973-1993

Lawrence Joseph

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

192 Pages



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Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos brings together the poems from Lawrence Joseph's first three books of poetry: Shouting at No One, Curriculum Vitae, and Before Our Eyes. Now in one volume, the poems from these three books can be seen as the work of one of American poetry's most original and challenging poets.


Praise for Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos

"Lawrence Joseph gives us new hope for the resourcefulness of humanity, and of poetry."—John Ashberry

"His poetry works along the front lines, reconnoitering and marking down the slightest moves. If poets can, when confronting the endless shocks and snarls of urban and international life, resist flinching or turning away, they deserve our attention. If what they say about that world comes from a place of vigilance and concern . . . they have earned our admiration."—David Yezzi, Parnassus

"A poet of fierce . . . intensity . . . Joseph writes with an authenticity that is earned, not just acquired."—David Lehman, The Washington Post Book World

"Joseph's poems cut to the quick . . . They gleam with the sharp edge of their truth; they are hard to forget."—James Finn Cotter, The Hudson Review

"Joseph's achievement goes beyond color and detail . . . With a graceful touch and virtuoso timing . . . [he contructs] cubist panoramas in pitch-perfect free verse that never betrays his commitment to the mode."—Matthew Flamm, The Village Voice

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Lawrence Joseph

  • Lawrence Joseph's fourth book of poems, Into It, will be published by FSG in hardcover in September. He lives in downtown Manhattan and is a professor of law at St. John's University School of Law.

  • Lawrence Joseph Ted Ely