Denise Duhamel
June 2009


Denise DuhamelDenise Duhamel’s most recent books are Ka-Ching! (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), Mille et un Sentiments (Firewheel, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997). A bilingual edition of her poems, Afortunada de mí (Lucky Me), translated into Spanish by Dagmar Buchholz and David Gonzalez, came out in 2008 with Bartleby Editores (Madrid.) A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, she is an associate professor at Florida International University in Miami.

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I find that writing poetry is a way I argue with myself, have compassion for myself, go back and forth about something, pick an issue apart and try to make sense of it which might be called a “double-voiced discourse.”   But having said that, I’m also very interested in polyphonic poetry and monologues in which the speaker is seemingly not me, the poet.  Perhaps because of my early interest in spoken word poetry (I spent a great deal of time at the Nuyorican Poets Café in the early 1990’s), I am very drawn to poetry that has a strong voice—a voice that seems to want to be performed.  I have had my poems staged as plays at various venues in New York City and elsewhere, and students often use my poems in forensics debates.

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