Rafael Campo teaches and practices general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is also on the faculty of the Lesley University MFA Program in Creative Writing. Campo is the author of The Enemy, Landscape with Human Figure, Diva, and What the Body Told, all published by Duke University Press. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Gold Medal in Poetry from ForeWord, the Paterson Poetry Prize, two Lambda Literary Awards, and a National Book Critics Circle Award nomination.
In his sixth collection of poetry, the celebrated poet-physician Rafael Campo examines the primal relationship between language, empathy, and healing. As masterfully crafted as they are viscerally powerful, these poems propose voice itself as a kind of therapeutic medium. For all that most ails us, Alternative Medicine offers the balm of song and the salve of the imagination: from the wounds of our stubborn differences of identity, to the pain of alienation in a world of unfeeling technologies, to the shame of the persistent injustices in our society, Campo's poetry displays a deep understanding of hurt as the possibility for healing.
"Alternative Medicine (a wonderful euphemism for poetry) is an extraordinarily powerful and moving book—especially its central poems about doctoring, about the sadness and helplessness of being a doctor. Only someone who has actually lived these poems could have written them. Rafael Campo is that rare poet. This book makes art out of the pain and blood of experience."
"Rafael Campo is an extraordinarily skillful poet: his technique manifests itself in the range of forms he so brilliantly masters. But he is also a poet of gravity and poignant observation. Unlike so many people writing today, he has subjects, passions, and themes that are profoundly important."
—Sandra M. Gilbert
Duke University Press