Joseph Ceravolo

Joseph Ceravolo

About Joseph Ceravolo

Joseph Ceravolo born April 22, 1934, in the Queens and died September 4, 1988, was a second-generation American poet from the New York school. He studied writing with Kenneth Koch at the New School for Social Research. In addition to his career as a poet, Ceravolo worked as a civil engineer. He began writing poetry while stationed in Germany in the late 1950s. He lived much of his life in New Jersey. He published his first book of poetry Fits of Dawn in 1965, followed by Wild Flowers Out of Gas in 1967 and Spring In This World of Poor Mutts published in 1968 by Columbia University Press (winner of the Frank O'Hara Award for Poetry). Ceravolo’s books were out of print for years, but the 2013 publication of his Collected Poems has made his work accessible again. Ceravolo’s poems often focus on the natural world, as opposed to the social world. Even where Ceravolo’s poems are quiet, they possess an intensity and openness; as is the case in this passage from his poem Both Close by Me, Both.
He died in 1988 from bile duct cancer.

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