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About this poet

In 1973, Ben Doller (previously Doyle) was born in Warsaw, New York. He completed his undergraduate education at the State University of New York at Oswego and West Virginia University.

His first collection of poetry, Radio, Radio, (Louisiana State University Press, 2001) was selected by Susan Howe for the 2000 Walt Whitman Award. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was awarded a Teaching-Writing Fellowship. His second collection of poems, FAQ, was published in 2009 by Ahsahta Press. His third collection, Dead Ahead, was published by Fence Books in 2010.

Doller has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, West Virginia University, Denison University, and was Distinguished Visiting Professor at Boise State University in 2007.

He is co-editor of the Kuhl House Contemporary Poetry Series at the University of Iowa Press, and is vice editor and designer of 1913 a journal of forms and 1913 Press.

He lives in San Diego with his wife, the poet Sandra Doller (formerly Miller).

Radio, Radio

Ben Doller
In the middle of every field,
obscured from the side by grass
or cornhusks, is a clearing where
she works burying swans alive
into the black earth. She only
buries their bodies, their wings.
She packs the dirt tight around
their noodle necks & they shake
like long eyelashes in a hurricane.
She makes me feed them by hand
twice a day for one full year: grain,
bits of chopped fish. Then she
takes me to the tin toolshed.
Again she shows me the world
inside her silver transistor radio.
She hands me the scythe.

From Radio, Radio by Ben Doyle, published by Louisiana State University Press. Copyright © 2000 by Ben Doyle. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Ben Doller

Ben Doller

The author of several collections of poetry, Ben Doller's first collection Radio, Radio was selected for the Walt Whitman Award

by this poet

poem

whiter I make it when walking right in
unswerved, sweating fluorescent bleach,
preaching a moon page that says its welts:
learn this by heart is empty but do it
to do it. I make it somehow whiter, zombied
and I opified allover the absolutely
whitest room. I say keep your lines in line

poem
Lick the lights. Everyone 
says that here. Sometimes 
they'll call a spade a shovel, 
hollowing half a hole, 
which is all I have to sleep inside.


There's one


arboretum running 
underground from near here 
to Verisimilitude City. 
I measure the macrocosm 
with miles of mint string. Flossing


the dunning
poem
The curtain is kind

of cool. Hitchcock
liked it. Why

not. Great place 

for getting shot
or famous or for 

bleeding back 

behind the iron 
one. The score

diegetic as they

come. Bernard 
Herrmann forever 

human. 

The gowns hanged
in greenroom ligature.

Edith Head never 

dead. Great place
for a nail-bomb