RAFAEL CAMPO was born in 1964 in Dover, New Jersey. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Medical School, he currently teaches and practices general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where his medical practice serves mostly Latinos, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people, and people with HIV infection. He is also on the faculty of the Lesley University Creative Writing MFA program.
He is the author of The Other Man Was Me (Arte Público Press, Houston, 1994), which won the 1993 National Poetry Series Award; What the Body Told (Duke University Press, Durham, 1996), which won a Lambda Literary Award for Poetry; and The Poetry of Healing: A Doctor’s Education in Empathy, Identity, and Desire (W.W. Norton, New York, 1997), a collection of essays now available in paperback under the title The Desire to Heal, which also won a Lambda Literary Award, for memoir. His poetry and prose have appeared in many major anthologies, including Best American Poetry 1995 (Scribner, New York, 1995), Things Shaped in Passing: More “Poets for Life” Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (Persea, New York, 1996), Currents in the Dancing River: Contemporary Latino Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry (Harcourt Brace, New York, 1994), and Gay Men at the Millennium (Putnam, New York, 1997); and in numerous prominent periodicals, including Boston Review, Commonweal, JAMA, Kenyon Review, The Lancet, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Progressive, Salon.com, Slate.com, Threepenny Review, Yale Review, and the Washington Post Book World. His poem “Mobidity and Mortality Rounds” was selected by Jo Shapcott as the winner of the 2013 Hippocrates Open International Prize.
His work has also been featured on the National Endowment for the Arts website and on National Public Radio. With the support of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, he wrote Diva (Duke University Press, 1999), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and Lambda Literary Awards for poetry. He is a recipient of the Annual Achievement Award from the National Hispanic Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Pushcart Prize, and he has served as Visiting Writer at Amherst College, artist in residence at Stanford University, George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana and Fanny Hurst Visiting Poet at Brandeis University. He has lectured widely, with recent appearances at the Lannan Foundation, the Library of Congress, the 92nd Street Y, and other prestigious venues. He is also the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Amherst College. His collection of poetry, Landscape with Human Figure, was published in April 2002, and won the Gold Medal from ForeWord in poetry. In August of 2003, W.W. Norton published The Healing Art: A Doctor’s Black Bag of Poetry, essays on poetry and healing. His fifth book of poems, The Enemy, won the Sheila Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club, one of the nation’s oldest poetry organizations. In November 2013 Duke University Press published his 6th book of poems entitled, Alternative Medicine.