Monday, July 12, 2010

Denise Duhamel Bio and Question Forum

I am excited to announce that the question forum is now open for one of my all time favorite poets, Denise Duhamel. She is an extraordinary poet, sincere and vulnerable with an uncanny ability to make her reader laugh out loud one minute and be in literal tears the next, or at least that is the affect she has on this poet. With every poem, I feel like I am sitting down in her living room chatting over a glass of wine. There is no distance between her and her reader. She is right there, opening the door into her life.

Her bio is as follows from Here you can also find links to her poetry. 2 poems follow her bio. Post your questions for Denise as a comment to this blog and look for the answers to come from the poetess herself!!!

Denise Duhamel was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, in 1961. She received a B.F.A. degree from Emerson College and a M.F.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence College.

She is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry, most recentlyKa-Ching! (University of Pittsburgh, 2009), Two and Two (2005), and Mille et un sentiments (Firewheel Editions, 2005).

Her other books currently in print areQueen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh, 2001),The Star-Spangled Banner, winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize (1999); Kinky (1997); Girl Soldier(1996); and How the Sky Fell (1996). Duhamel has also collaborated with Maureen Seaton on three volumes: Little Novels (Pearl Editions, 2002), Oyl (2000), and Exquisite Politics (Tia Chucha Press, 1997).

In response to Duhamel's collection Smile!, Edward Field says, "More than any other poet I know, Denise Duhamel, for all the witty, polished surface of her poems, communicates the ache of human existence."

A winner of an National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she has been anthologized widely, including four volumes of The Best American Poetry (2000, 1998, 1994, and 1993).

Duhamel teaches creative writing and literature at Florida International University and lives in Hollywood, Florida.

From Kinky

Buddhist Barbie

In the 5th century B.C. 
an Indian philosopher
Gautama teaches "All is emptiness"
and "There is no self."
In the 20th century A.D.
Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man
with such a belly could pose,
smiling, and without a shirt.

Why, On a Bad Day, I Can Relate to the Manatee

The manatee tries a diet of only sea grass, but still stays fat.
Mistaking her for a mermaid from afar,
sailors of long ago lost interest when they got too close,
openly making fun of her chubbiness. She knows Rodney Dangerfield
would write jokes about her if she were more popular.
She's ashamed of her crooked teeth, her two big molars
that leave her sucking and grinding
with bad table manners. She swims towards danger
over and over, scars from motor boats on her back
reminders of her slow stupidness. She resents being
called a sea-cow. She hopes her whiskers don't show
in the light. She is the mammal who knows
about low self-esteem. I first met her on my honeymoon
in southern Florida. I was on a cruise in my one piece bathing suit.
The women in bikinis squealed and pointed to the nearby dolphins,
clapping so their sleek gray backs would come to the water's surface.
In the shadow of her prettier ocean sister, the manatee swam by also.
No one but I paid her much attention. I wanted to lend her
my make-up, massage her spine, lend a girlfriend-ear
and listen to her underwater troubles. I dreamt of her
as I slept in the warmth of my new husband. I dreamt of her
as he slept in the warmth of me. On a good day, too,
I can relate to the manatee, who knows
on some level that she is endangered
and believes in mating for life.
copied from and where more Denise Duhamel poems can be found:

1 comment:

  1. 1. Who are some of your favorite non-Anglo American writers?

    2. How does the form of your poems take shape in your writing process?

    3. What was the first poem you ever loved?

    4. Where do you write? Do you have any particular habits when you write your poems?

    5. How does feminist criticism influence your poetry?

    6. When did you become a poet or when did poetry become part of your life?

    7. What inspires you to write the poetry you write?