Denise Duhamel

Cindy Seip

Denise Duhamel’s books include Ka-Ching!, Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, and Kinky. When Hurricane Irma hit her Florida apartment, Duhamel kept a journal of her terrifying experience and turned to Dante and terza rima, reconstructing the form into the long poem “Terza Irma.” In Second Story: Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press), she investigates our near-catastrophic ecological and political moment, aware of her own complicity, resistance, and agency. The 37 poems in the collection include odes to her favorite uncle – who was “green” before it was a hashtag – and Mother Nature, via a retro margarine commercial. She writes letters to her failing memory as well as to America’s collective amnesia. With the fear of the water below and a burglar who enters through her second-story window, she faces the story under the story, the second story we often neglect to tell. Duhamel is also co-editor, with Rick Mulkey, of the anthology Ice on a Hot Stove: A Decade of Converse MFA Poetry (Clemson University Press). The book highlights the last decade of poetry presented in the MFA in creative writing program at Converse College and produced by the program’s faculty, visiting faculty, and graduates. For more than a century, the college has held a distinct position in the literary history of South Carolina.