February 29, 2008
A number of people who have distinguihed themselves in the legal profession have also been quite successful as poets. Wallace Stevens comes to mind. That brings me to the poetry of Professor Lawrence Joseph, Reverend Joseph P. Tinnelly, C.M. Professor of Law, which was the subject of the 2008 Law and Literature Symposium, "Some Sort of Chronicler I Am: Narration and the Poetry of Lawrence Joseph," on February 29, 2008, at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The Symposium was put together by the University of Cincinnati Law Review. Professor Joseph was joined in the Symposium by a group of distinguished legal and literary scholars who used Professor Joseph's poetry as a starting point to explore the nature of narration in poetry and its relationship to the language of law, and other forms of narration and language. The Symposium has been published in 77 Cincinnati Law Review. Number 3 Spring 2009. To help illustrate the depth and range of topics covered in the Symposium, here is al list of papers and their contributors included in the 77 Cincinnati Law Review symposium issue:
Narrating Justice ..... Joseph P. Tomain
Embedded Chronicles: Lawrence Joseph's Poetry of Urgency..... Lee Upton
Several Kinds of Chronicler, He's Been: The Books and Selves of Lawrence Joseph...Eric Murphy Selinger.
"Why Not Say What Happens": Modernism, Traumatic Memory, and Lawrence Joseph's Into It....John Lowney.
"Telling the Time": Narrative and Lyric: in the Poetry of Lawrence Joseph... Lisa M. Steinman.
Lawrence Joseph's Detroit: "The Shifting Story"......Frank D. Rashid
I to Eye: Self and Society in the Poetry of Lawrence Joseph....Thomas Depietro.
Lawrence Joseph and Law nd Literature.....David A. Skeel, Jr.
Notations of Poetry and Narration...Lawrence Joseph.
According to a posting on a St. Johns Law School website, Professor Joseph graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1975, after receiving Bachelor and Masters of Arts degrees in English Literature from the University of Michigan and the University of Cambridge. After law school, he served as judicial law clerk for Justice G. Mennen Williams of the Michigan Supreme Court. He was then a member of the School of Law faculty at the University of Detroit. Professor Joseph joined the St. John's School of Law faculty in 1987, after practicing law with the firm of Shearman & Sterling in New York City. In addition to his scholarship and his legal writings in the areas of labor and employment law, tort and compensation law, legal theory and interpretation, and law and literature, Professor Joseph has published five books of poetry, most recently Into It, and a book of prose, Lawyerland, as well as essays. articles, and reviews which have appeared in leading magazines, newspapers, and journals. His legal and literary writings have received widespread, international critical acclaim and attention, including a symposium, "The Lawyerland Essays," which appeared in Volume 101, No. 7, the Columbia Law Review (November 2001).