Lauren Camp


Photo by David Camp

Lauren Camp is the author of This Business of Wisdom (2010) and editor of the poetry blog Which Silk Shirt. Each Sunday, she hosts Audio Saucepan, a global music/poetry program on Santa Fe Public Radio. She guest edited WLT’s special section on international jazz poetry in the March 2011 issue. “Letter to Baghdad” begins her manuscript-in-progress, One Hundred Hungers. In 2012 she received the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award for another poem from this project.

To learn more, visit www.laurencamp.com.

  •    March 2011
    Listening suggestion: While reading Camp's essay, listen to Louis Armstrong’s version of the Fats Waller song “Black and Blue," available for streaming on YouTube. Can a writer ever hope to successfully render an aural form in words? Can that writer make it possible for us to appreciate what we might otherwise hear? To complicate the chance of adequately capturing sound, try asking that writer...
  •    March 2011
      I met Monk      on a subway, coming through the tunnel.          His words fell out be-     tween thick beard hairs,          then lumbered toward me, paused and sighed.                    When the train jerked, his long                                            fingers reached out,           touched my pale shoulder:                                           he wore a rust brown coat.       ...
  •    March 2011
    When I realized I could make mistakes . . . I decided I was really on to something. — Ornette Coleman                 You can tell by the rumble of tall incantationsthat he has secured sound into a model of mingling symbols and masterful spells.                                                                Listen for the riddleinverted in rhythm, and you will want answers. If you want answers,...
  • Letter to Baghdad Even if my father never speaks a word of it, I will knowhe brought a candle, a cough, and the occupied side of his heart.I will know the trees held him, that they rose above rooflines,and where they met, he climbed and saw roads paved only with praises.The sun he carried across oceans turned copper at his window.I saw it too, on the gray edge of my childhood,and I was marked whe...
  • Photo by Bu Yousef/Flickr At the Market in Baghdad, 1940 Every morning the elder took his sons to pray,then let them swim through the heat of the dijlawhile he and his servant went to market, the Suuq Hannoun,to buy food for the day.  Abrahim considered a lamb;he checked its hip and slight pelvis then chose another.Respect and honor stood with him. He bargained     a melody of numbers...