Tag Archives: trauma theory

“I don’t know about you, but it all goes through my skin”: War Trauma Writing by Lawrence Joseph

The Arab American poet and professor of law, Lawrence Joseph (b. 1948 in Detroit), devotes a large part of his poetry to dwell on the pervading violence in Near and Middle East war situations, mainly in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. Large sections of his poetry in Shouting at No One, Curriculum Vitae, Before Our Eyes (collected in the publication Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos) as well as Into It express the poet’s indignation at and his denunciation of the contemporary savagery. He laments that the “weight of violence/ is unparalleled in the history of species” (Into It 4) and that there is “a state of collectively accepted permanent war” (Game Changed 127). In his poetry, he declares the urgent need to condemn violence: “What needs to be said -/ why not say it?” (Into It 4).

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