Biography of Denise Duhamel
Duhamel received her B.F.A. from Emerson College and her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a New York Foundation for the Arts recipient and has been resident poet at Bucknell University. She has had residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.
Duhamel's earliest books take a feminist slant, beginning with Smile (1993) and Girl Soldier (1996); The Woman with Two Vaginas (1995) explores Eskimo folklore from the same perspective. Her best selling and most popular book to date, Kinky (1997), marries her bent for satire, humor, and feminism in portraying an icon of popular culture, the Barbie doll, through an extended series of satirical postures ("Beatnik Barbie," "Buddhist Barbie," etc.). Two collections that followed, The Star Spangled Banner (1998) and Queen for a Day (2001), move more broadly into American culture to display the same satire through the lens of absurdity. Later work is formally various with pantoums, long surreal explorations of American life, and list poems (Mille et un sentiments ). Two and Two (2005) and Ka Ching (2009) also have the same tone. Her poetry has been widely anthologized and has appeared in The Best American Poetry annuals.
Duhamel has also collaborated with Maureen Seaton on Little Novels, Oyl, and Exquisite Politics. Of this collaboration, Duhamel says, "Something magical happens when we write - we find this third voice, someone who is neither Maureen nor I, and our ego sort of fades into the background. The poem matters, not either one of us."
Duhamel names as some of her influences Lucille Ball, Roseanne Barr, Andrea Dworkin, Alyson Palmer, Amy Ziff and Elizabeth Ziff (who make up the singing group Betty), and the 70s television heroine Mary Hartman.
Denise Duhamel was married to the Filipino poet Nick Carbò. Duhamel now lives in Hollywood, Florida, and teaches creative writing and literature at Florida International University, and in the Low-Residency MFA at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC.
Denise Duhamel's Works:
Girl Soldier (Garden Street Press, 1996)
How the Sky Fell (1996)
Ka-Ching (University of Pittsburgh, 2009)
Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997)
Mille et un sentiments (Firewheel Editions, 2005)
Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh, 2001)
Smile, (Warm Spring Press, 1993)
The Star-Spangled Banner, winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize (1999)
The Woman with Two Vaginas, (Salmon Run Press, 1995)
Two and Two (University of Pittsburgh, 2005).
It's My Body (Egg In Hand Press, 1992)
Skirted Issues (Stop Light Press, 1990)
Heaven And Heck (Foundation Press, 1988, 1989, 1990)
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Denise Duhamel Poems
In the 5th century B.C. an Indian philosopher Gautama teaches 'All is emptiness' and 'There is no self.'
They decide to exchange heads. Barbie squeezes the small opening under her chin over Ken's bulging neck socket. His wide jaw line jostles atop his girlfriend's body, loosely,
Snow White's Acne
At first she was sure it was just a bit of dried strawberry juice, or a fleck of her mother's red nail polish that had flaked off when she'd patted her daughter to sleep the night before. But as she scrubbed, Snow felt a bump, something festering
On Being Born The Same Exact Day Of The ...
We must have clamored for the same mother, hurried for the same womb. I know it now as I read that my birthday is his. Since the first time I saw his picture, I sensed something—
my mother pushed my sister out of the apartment door with an empty suitcase because she kept threatening to run away my sister was sick of me getting the best of everything the bathrobe with the pink stripes instead of the red the soft middle piece of bread while she got the crust I was sick with
The blue forest, chilled and blue, like the lips of the dead if the lips were gone. The year has been cut in half with dull scissors, the solstice still looking for its square on the calendar. Perhaps the scissors were really
is what we called her. The story was that her father had thrown Drano at her which was probably true, given the way she slouched through fifth grade, afraid of the world, recess
'...The use of condoms offers substantial protection, but does not guarantee total protection and that while there is no evidence that deep kissing has resulted in transfer of the virus, no one can say that such transmission
There is a chimp named Ai who can count to five. There's a poet named Ai whose selected poems Vice just won the National Book Award. The name 'Ai' is pronounced 'I'
According to Culture Shock: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette of Filipinos, when my husband says yes, he could also mean one of the following:
Sex With A Famous Poet
I had sex with a famous poet last night and when I rolled over and found myself beside him I shuddered because I was married to someone else,
Delta Flight 659
I'm writing this on a plane, Sean Penn, with my black Pilot Razor ballpoint pen. Ever since 9/11, I'm a nervous flyer. I leave my Pentium Processor in Florida so TSA can't x-ray my stanzas,
I stopped drinking on my way down the hill to the liquor store when two guys pulled up and tried to drag me into their pickup. I crossed the street then ran in the opposite direction, puffing
Men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, as long as the animals are female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is taboo and punishable by death.
They decide to exchange heads.
Barbie squeezes the small opening under her chin
over Ken's bulging neck socket. His wide jaw line jostles
atop his girlfriend's body, loosely,
like one of those novelty dogs
destined to gaze from the back windows of cars.
The two dolls chase each other around the orange Country Camper
unsure what they'll do when they're within touching distance.
Ken wants to feel Barbie's toes between his lips,