Joseph Stroud, (born 1943, Glendale, California) is an American poet.
He was educated at the University of San Francisco, California State University at Los Angeles, and San Francisco State University. He is currently retired from teaching at Cabrillo College.
He has published five collections of poetry, most recently Of This World; New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2008) and Country of Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2004). His work earned a Pushcart Prize in 2000 and has been featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. He was also a finalist for the Northern California Book Critics Award in 2005 and a year later was selected for a Witter Bynner Fellowship in poetry from the Library of Congress.
Varied in subject and form, Stroud’s poems include six-line lyrics, narrative prose poems, odes, homages, sustained contemplations, suites, and brief epigrammatic offerings. However it is substance, whatever form it takes, that interests him. His poetry articulates a voyage through places and times and voices, often sifting through the details of daily life, searching for miracles (“Inside the pear there’s a paradise we will never know, our only hint the sweetness of its taste.” - Comice, Below Cold Mountain).
He divides his time between his home in Santa Cruz, California, and a cabin in the Sierra Nevada.
Take a plane to London.
From King's Cross take the direct train to York.
Rent a car and drive across the vale to Ripon,
then into the dales toward the valley of the Nidd,
Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,
a world becoming white, no more sounds,
no longer possible to find the heart of the day,
the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all
Bitter the warmth of sunlight, and bitter the taste of apple,
the song and the stars and wheat fields, bitter the memory,
moonlight, the shine of the lake's surface in morning
I, too, remember the past, my room lit by candles,
and the night she entered and touched my face
with her face, with mouth and tongue and lips,