Poet and Physician Rafael Campo to Give Reading as Part of Working Writers Series

Rafael Campo, poet and physician in general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, will give a reading as a part of the Working Writers Series on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library at the College of the Holy Cross. Campo will also be holding a question and answer session on the writer’s craft that day at 3:30 p.m. in Fenwick 207. Both events are sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Health Professions Program and are free and open to the public.

Campo received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and is a graduate of Boston University’s Creative Writing Program, where he received the George Starbuck Fellowship and studied with U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. Campo is the author of six collections of poetry and two books of essays on poetry and healing. His poetry and prose has appeared in many journals including the New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and Paris Review, and has also been featured on National Public Radio. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Annual Achievement Award from the National Hispanic Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Amherst College. In addition to teaching medicine at Harvard Medical School, Campo teaches poetry in the M.F.A. Program at Lesley University.

Campo’s first book of poetry, “The Other Man Was Me” (1994), won the National Poetry Series Award, while his second, “What the Body Told” (1996), won a Lambda Literary Award. His other books of poetry include “Diva” (1999), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; “Landscape with Human Figure” (2002), which received the Gold Medal from ForeWord; and “The Enemy” (2007), winner of the Sheila Motton Book Prize. His latest collection, “Alternative Medicine,” came out last year.

Campo’s primary medical practice serves Latinos, GBLT people, and people with HIV. Critic Frederick Luis Aldama describes Campo’s poetry in connection with his practice, saying “His poems are highly structured…he uses the security of form as a position from which to delve deep into the heart of his own feelings – feelings for his AIDS and cancer patients and for emergency room arrivals who have suffered from brutal encounters with an overwhelmingly homophobic and racist American society.”

The Creative Writing Program will also host the following speakers this fall, as part of the Working Writers Series:

  • Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. – Panel discussion titled “Is Football Dead? Writings for and Against,” featuring Steve Almond, essayist, journalist and novelist, and Bill Curry, former NFL player, coach, and author.