Strikingly contemporary new work by an acclaimed poet
Into It, Lawrence Joseph's fourth book of poems, is as bold a book as any in American poetry today-an attempt to give voice to the extremes of American reality in the time since, as Joseph puts it, "the game changed."
Joseph's first three books dramatized the challenge of maintaining one's self in a world in the hold of dehumanizing forces. The new book finds him in a time and place where "the immense enlargement / of our perspectives is confronted / by a reduction of our powers of action"-where the word "wargame" is a verb and "the weight of violence / is unparalleled in the history / of the species." Along the New York waterfront, on a crowded street, at the site where the World Trade Center stood: Joseph enters into these places to capture the thoughts and images, the colors and feelings, and the language that give the present its pressured complexity. Few contemporary writers have been able to shape this material into poetry, but Joseph has done so masterfully-in poems that are daring, searching, and classically satisfying.
Into It is a new work by a poet of great originality and scope.