Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Laurence Lieberman  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Born: 1935 in Detroit, Michigan

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Illinois Connection

Lieberman joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1968 as an English Professor.

Biographical and Professional Information

Laurence Lieberman is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Unblinding
ISBN: B0006BUB0M

Macmillan Company. 1968

His first book of poetry.

Osprey Suicides
ISBN: 0020697902

Collier Macmillan Ltd. 1973

God's measurements
ISBN: 0020698003

Macmillan. 1980

Mural of Wakeful Sleep
ISBN: 0020697805

Macmillan Pub Co. 1985

Poems evoke the history and daily life of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Barbados, and St. Lucia

The Creole Mephistopheles
ISBN: 0020344953

Collier Macmillan. 1990

New and Selected Poems, 1962-92
ISBN: 0252020103

University of Illinois Press. 1993

Laurence Lieberman has published six volumes of poetry with Macmillan, ranging from The Unblinding in 1968 to The Creole Mephistopheles in 1989. Selections from those volumes combine happily here with new poems.

The Regatta in the Skies: Selected Long Poems
ISBN: 0820320358

University of Georgia Press. 1999

The Regatta in the Skies is a wonderful, complex collection of the best long poems from each phase of Laurence Lieberman's distinguished but still developing career, from his midwestern American childhood to his travels to the exotic landscapes of the underwater world, Japan, and the Caribbean.

In a number of recent poems, Lieberman view islands of the West Indies through the eyes of intriguing local artists. Using cross-cultural relationships on individual and national levels to create a new kind of "poetry as witness," he weaves stories into the poems. No less engaging than his subjects are his cadences, ordered in intricately textured lines and original syllabic stanza patterns.

"Orange County Plague: Scenes" focuses on the plight of the orange trees in southern California, blending motifs of politics, social history, civil rights of ethnic minorities, and the mythology surrounding them with descriptions of nature and landscape. This linked progression of seventeen poems, structured like a sonnet sequence, establishes the primacy of place in Lieberman's continuing canon.

The longest poems deal with Jamaica, but others take as their settings a number of the smaller Caribbean islands, including Montserrat. In the poem "The Factories of Bay Leaf and Lime" Lieberman celebrates instinctive beauties of Montserrat's culture and workplace, and helps memorialize its national character at a time when the entire country is threatened with extinction by a volcano.

The Regatta in the Skies is a bold and unforgettable collection from a poet at the top of his form.

Hour of the Mango Black Moon
ISBN: 1900715937

Peepal Tree Press Ltd.. 2004

Inspired in part by a group of paintings from Caribbean masters Greaves, Akyem, and Ishi, this collection of poems finds resonance by relating to the 19th-century poetic tradition of “pictorialism” to create a vivid, enthusiastic energy. More than simply commenting on these paintings, however, these poems engage their subjects and creators to achieve something similar to the best art criticism, an exact and exhilarating encounter with the visual arts that produces a powerful beauty all its own. Included are 16 color plates of the paintings described in the collection.

Carib's Leap: Selected and New Poems of the Caribbean
ISBN: 1845230221

Peepal Tree Press Ltd.. 2005

Based on travels through the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and parts of the South American mainland, these poems acknowledge the damage wrought to Caribbean peoples, landscapes, and cultures by invaders of all kinds—from conquistadors to sex tourists. Caribbean references bring out the creativity of the region’s peoples in dramatic and personable tones, making this fine poetry a valuable addition to the growing body of literary travel writing about the Caribbean.


Awards

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