Camille Norton

Camille Norton

A Professor of English at University of the Pacific, in Stockton, CA, Camille Norton teaches courses in poetry, gender studies, and critical theory.

A Folio for the Dark

Camille Norton’s book, A Folio for the Dark, will appear in the spring of 2019. Her first book of poems,  Corruption, was a 2004 National Poetry Series winner, published by Harper Perennial in 2005. Her work has appeared in Field, The Colorado Review, The Georgia Review, and in American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets. Her poem, “The Prison Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone,” was published in The Best American Poetry of 2010. Camille grew up near Philadelphia and and lived for many years in Boston. She has worked collaboratively with artists and composers since the early 1990’s, when she co-edited Resurgent: New Writing by Women, an anthology of experimental writing by women in literature, film, and the visual arts.  She lives in Stockton, near the San Joaquin River, and is at home in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry explores the interstices between artistic expression and the political systems that define who reads, who writes, and who is remembered.

In her brilliant second collection, Camille Norton creates a deep and lush interior world where she is both reader and writer, young girl and sensual adult, herself and other. In these poems, which are as mysterious, brutal, and beautiful as truth, Norton writes her way into the lives of those she has read: Poe, Thomas Jefferson, Gertrude Stein, a Confederate prisoner, Herman Melville’s whale, and the Old Testament’s Jonah. Out of this empathic imagination, there emerges an alchemical voice of the multiple worlds that inhabit Norton’s dynamic mind. This is a book where every poem ‘is a piece of light . . . already quickening into something else.’ ” —Julia B. Levine, author of Small Disasters Seen in Sunlight

Camille Norton’s A Folio for the Dark is an exquisite and imaginative excursion into American history as it shadows the poems of personal life. ‘Is love a disturbance?’ Norton asks, in this archive of memory and the body. She reimagines American historical figures in the process of a collective confession. Thomas Jefferson, William Byrd, and Edgar Allan Poe appear here, as do the experiences of a working- class family, the lesbian body, and ‘A Girl’s Own Gothic’ adolescence. These fiercely elegant poems with modernist subtexts reveal how the perverse injustices of our American past continue to haunt our struggles and desires.” —Ramón García, author of The Chronicle

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