Joseph Osmundson is a scientist and writer from rural Washington State. His writing has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review, Gawker, Salon, The Rumpus, and The Feminist Wire, where he is an Associate Editor. He's currently a post-doctoral fellow in systems biology at New York University.
Osmundson describes Capsid: A Love Song as an essay "On HIV, desire, science, queerness, love." The book is a long-form essay that incorporates eight prose poems, each one inspired by a different phase in the life cycle of HIV. A person infected with a virus is called a host, and that makes the virus the guest, and sometimes a guest becomes a friend, and sometimes a friend becomes a lover. Osmundson explores the intimacy of the relatioinship between an HIV-positive person and his virus. His scientific perspective makes this young gay man an especially poignant singer of this love song.