Joseph J. Capista

Having seen the ospreygrasp then set its fishso that en route from seato bay prey's eyes faceonly west,                        having seen,half-sunblind, that glint writhethen rise to unimaginedheights on nothing butthin air, one ultimatekindness before spicule,tooth, and tongue,                                        having seenstruggle slacken to reposeas descending on the nestcatch glimpses the caught,compendium of spineand gill and jaw agape,kaleidoscopic shamblesshimmering in scales,                                                I say,raise me like that, unmaker,wide-eyed and broken-backed,if only so that I, unmade,might see for once beyondall doubt those unknown,unfathomable partsthat are and are not me.

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Joseph J. Capista teaches at Towson University. A recipient of awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and lives with his family in Baltimore.

Athens, Ohio

Ohio University

“Both wry and ardent, Intrusive Beauty is an immensely accomplished book. Readers have all the pleasures of great poetry here—nuanced syntax, a musician’s harmonious ear, and a remarkably deft and varied handling of form.… Nothing is precious here—even the poems about fatherhood and nature, those baited traps, are leapt over by Capista’s nimble speaker.”
—Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi

“Capista’s choice to write about unglamorous aspects of his life is consistently surprising and offers multiple opportunities for readers to connect with his poems’ narratives and the philosophical predicaments he uses those narratives to explore…[t]he book is powerful in the humility it strikes as it bears witness to the often underwhelming and still splendid life of an artist. I see myself everywhere in its breath.”
Iron Horse Review

“Capista doesn’t shy away from the joys of rollicking through language’s innate richness of sound and meter. In his debut collection … little gems of insight and deep reflection [sparkle] throughout. [Capista] has the ability to see beauty in all places, and through his keen observations, he allows us to see this beauty, too."
Baltimore Magazine

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