Joseph Lease's critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" and "Send My Roots Rain" were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. Lease’s poem "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" was anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, Guest Editor). His poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in The New York Times. Lease’s poetry readings are collected at PennSound, The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, KQED (NPR), The Scottish Poetry Library, and The Poetry Project. Lease has been asked to read at numerous colleges and universities including Stanford University, San Francisco State University, University of Minnesota, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Louisiana State University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Sonoma State University, Sacramento State University, SUNY-Buffalo, Otis College of Art and Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, City College (San Francisco), West Virginia University, University of Colorado-Denver, Brown University, and elsewhere. Lease has received The Academy of American Poets Prize and numerous grants and awards in poetry and poetics from Columbia University, Brown University, Harvard University, and California College of the Arts. Lease is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts.
Poetry and the Landscape of Corruption