Today's poem is "Virtual Death"
from Identity Theft

Waywiser Press

Joseph Harrison was born in Richmond, Virginia, grew up in Virginia and Alabama, and studied at Yale and Johns Hopkins. His book Someone Else’s Name (Waywiser, 2003) was named as one of five poetry books of the year by the Washington Post and was a finalist for the Poets’ Prize. His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 1998 (ed. John Hollander), 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (ed. Billy Collins), The Library of America’s Anthology of American Religious Poems (ed. Harold Bloom), and many journals. In 2005 he was the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Baltimore.

Other poems by Joseph Harrison in Verse Daily:
October 3, 2004:  "A Different Bird" "In the woods back of what was a farm..."

Books by Joseph Harrison: Identity Theft, Someone Else's Name

Other poems on the web by Joseph Harrison:
Two poems
Two poems
Four poems

About Identity Theft:

"Joseph Harrison’s new volume is a wonderful leap in his poetic development. Harrison fuses formal control with a rich interiority and composes many poems that deserve to become canonical."
—Harold Bloom

"How deeply satisfying it is to read a poet whose meditative, elegiac temperament is married happily to verbal wit, even laugh-out-loud humor. Joseph Harrison is that rare poet, one whose command of craft suits him equally to produce a two-line ‘Ode’ (‘O elevated visionary thoughts, / Where are you now?’) and a ten-page public poem (‘To George Washington in Baltimore’) on that American giant who understood the ‘human scale.’ A poet so giddy with wordplay that he dares to rhyme ‘my palm is piloted’ with ‘Pontius Pilated’ and ‘pirated,’ Harrison addresses nonetheless the most serious concerns. Wary of our technology-dominated present and future, in which ‘identity theft’ is no joke (and ‘what fave new world is beckoning?’), Harrison makes his fingerprint evident in all of these poems – an implicit affirmation of something unique in each of us."
—Mary Jo Salter

"The title poem of Joseph Harrison’s second book is a witty and headlong discussion of how one’s self, if any, is constituted. We are a patchwork, it develops, and the same might be said of Harrison’s book, which makes continual and expert use of Spenser, Wordsworth, Horace, Villon, and other predecessors. If this makes Identity Theft seem a three-ring circus, the important point is that Harrison is a superlative ringmaster: his book throughout is governed by that playfulness and performance which, as Frost said, are required in poetry however impassioned or serious. I found myself particularly moved by ‘Who They Were,’ which recalls the poet’s mother and father in the stanza of Tennyson’s ‘In Memoriam’."
—Richard Wilbur

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