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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 19, 2010

UI Press publishes first anthology of poetry about the law

"Poetry of the Law: From Chaucer to the Present," the first serious anthology of law-related poetry ever published in the United States, will become available March 1 from the University of Iowa Press.

Editors David Kader and Michael Stanford have assembled a collection of 100 poems from the 1300s to the present, including verse by Edmund Spenser, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Robert Burns, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, William Carlos Williams, D.H. Lawrence, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, James Wright, W.S. Merwin, Ted Kooser and Seamus Heaney.

Among the UI-connected poets who are represented in the anthology are Philip Levine, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Robert Hass, Thomas Lux, Eavan Boland, Charles Wright, Anthony Hecht, Mona Van Duyn and Rita Dove.

"Until now there has been nothing like this collection," said L. H. LaRue, author of "Constitutional Law as Fiction: Narrative in the Rhetoric of Authority." "The poems included here have depth, both chronologically and topically, and Kader and Stanford have written an introduction that will appeal to scholars and nonscholars alike. I admire their choice of which poems to include and think that their discussion of why the book is necessary is intelligent and will whet the appetite of any reader."

Set in courtrooms, lawyers' offices, law-school classrooms and judges' chambers; peopled with attorneys, the imprisoned (both innocent and guilty), judges, jurors, witnesses and law-enforcement officers; based on real events or exploring the complexity of abstract legal ideas; the poems celebrate justice or decry the lack of it, range in tone from witty to wry, sad to celebratory, funny to infuriating.

Kader is a professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and an affiliate faculty member of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Stanford is an attorney in the Office of the Maricopa County Public Defender in Phoenix, Ariz. He has published poetry as well as a number of articles on Renaissance and modern literature.

The book is available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at  It is also available as a pdf e-book:

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013,