Since the time of Blackstone's Farewell, poetry has been seen as celestial, pastoral, solitary, and mellifluous; law as venerable, social, urban, and cacophous. This perception has persisted even to the present, with the bourgeoning field of law and literature focusing almost exclusively on fiction and drama. Poetry of the Law , however, reveals the richness of poetry about the law. Poetry of the Law is the first serious anthology of law-related poetry ever published in the United States. As the editors make clear, though, serious need t imply solemn. Instead, David Kader and Michael Stanford have assembled a surprisingly capacious collection of 100 poems from the 1300s to the present. Set in courtrooms, lawyers' offices, law-school classrooms, and judges' chambers; peopled with attorneys, the imprisoned (both incent and guilty), judges, jurors, witnesses, and law-enforcement officers; based on real events (think Scottsboro ) or exploring the complexity of abstract legal ideas; the poems celebrate justice or decry the lack of it, ranging in tone from witty to wry, sad to celebratory, funny to infuriating. Poetry of the Law is destined to become an authoritative source for years to come.
David Kader is a professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, and an affiliate faculty member of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He holds a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and an LL.M. from the University of London. Michael Stanford is an attorney in the Office of the Maricopa County Public Defender, Phoenix, Arizona. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. He has published poetry as well as a number of articles on Renaissance and modern literature.