Richard Blanco Spotlights Poetry by Denise Duhamel

by | Mar 2, 2021 | Radio

In the latest episode of “Village Voice,” Richard Blanco joins Jim and Margery to spotlight and celebrate poetry by Denise Duhamel.

“Denise is a colleague and one of the first persons I read that allowed me to see the possibility of using humor and sarcasm and all those kinds of things in poetry that actually get to a greater truth than when we are being “deep.”

A wonderful review from Chamber Four, a book review site, sums up her work:
“Playful, wise, funny and heartbreaking all at once, what more do you want from poetry?”

“Poetry at its best takes an everyday moment and pulls a metaphor out of it.”

Denise teaches at Florida International University. Her most recent collection Second Story is out on March 9th (U-Pitt Press).

Enjoy the conversation and hear the poems excerpted below:


for Samantha Brick who wrote “There Are Downsides to Looking This Pretty: Why Women Hate Me For Being Beautiful” Guardian (April 2nd, 2012)

“Seems I can’t go anywhere without some dude
trying to get inside my frontal lobe. Just once
I’d like to go to a hotel bar without hearing,
“Nice brain stem! Can I buy it a drink?”
Or “Did anyone ever tell your cerebellum
it could be a model? …”

Questions of Faith
Forthcoming in Second Story.

“…Why do I always get the cart with the stuck, squeaky wheel?
Why I don’t ever call it quits and return the cart immediately?
Why did I keep pushing through life with a defective cart, thinking it would unlock, un-squeak if pushed gingerly, or if I pushed much harder?
Why do I grow exasperated at electronics? Why is it only when I’m at the back of the store that I admit the cart will only get worse?…”

Forty-Five | Fôrdē’Fīv | Noun
Forthcoming in Second Story.

“Let them eat Clorox. The Accidental President. President Velveeta, Douche L’orange, Orange Julius…See also Trump, code name for meth.”

(Did you know that “Trump” is now the #1 street name for meth?)

Damnation Nation

“Where a prez boasts a “coming-soon” vaccination,
where so many have died because of his machinations.
Where Don refuses to cover his face—insubordination?—
but you don your cloth mask,
your destination

the supermarket, your determination
to find illusive Clorox Wipes, your indignation
at the empty shelves…”

This episode first aired on Boston Public Radio on Feb 26, 2021.