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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 3, 2004

Poet Lawreates, Indeed, and In Print

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:29 pm


masks   I’m pleased to be able to share some good news about lawyers with you, for a change. Through the magic of the internet, law Professor James R. Elkins (College of Law, West Virginia University) discovered that we both share an interest in ethics and poetry and contacted me last week. In addition to discovering a wealth of materials on legal ethics and morality, I was delighted and humbled by Prof. Elkins’ amazing creation – Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry.

I immediately shared this great resource with that dapper, cultured weblawger, George Wallace, who had this to say in a posting today at The Fool in the Forest:

Poet Lawreates

[David called my attention to] Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry — a most impressive compilation of lawyer-poets and poet-lawyers both contemporary and not. The familiar suspects are represented — Wallace Stevens, Archibald MacLeish, even Francis Scott Key [whose poetry we learn was edited after his death by U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney] — as are many more obscure figures. I can see that I’m likely to lose significant amounts of time in exploring Professor Elkins’ site on my return, and I commend it to you in my absence.

Professor Elkins has an array of other material posted dealing with the intersection of law and Culture. I’m particularly curious about his discussions of Lawyers and Mythology. A thorough directory of the professor’s online offerings can be found here.

Today, Prof. Elkins sent me the following good news: “Off the Record: An Anthology of Poetry By Lawyers” is now at the printer and will appear later this month as Volume 28 of the Legal Studies Forum. If you know of anyone interested in this curious, historical first — the first-ever published collection of poetry by lawyers which gets beyond the rather stale notion of “legal verse”– let me know.” [update: see our posting “every law library needs this volume” announcing the publication of Vol. 28, March 11, 2004]

  • order today Off the Record has 699 pages of poetry by lawyers. You can Contact Professor Elkins directly to let him know that you’d like a copy of Off the Record. Hurry to get the pre-publication price of $15.

skepticalEsq (who is feeling neglected amonst this positive stuff) asks: ” Do you think all those assigned counsel are writing poetry instead of interviewing clients?” No, I don’t!



Postscript (02-05-04): I couldn’t figure out where all the traffic was coming from for this little artsy post, until I discovered that I had been mentioned by the immensely popular, immensely-(though unnecessarily)-modest Scheherazade. I’ll take her links over hot-shot-professor links anyday. And thanks to Evan for his link, too.


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