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About this poet

Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1975, Michael Dickman, his twin brother Matthew, and his younger sister were raised by their mother in the neighborhood of Lents. He received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dickman's first collection, The End of the West, was published in 2009 by Copper Canyon Press. He is also the author of Green Migraine (Copper Canyon Press, 2015) and the coauthor, with his brother, of 50 American Plays (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). His second collection of poetry, Flies (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), received the 2010 James Laughlin Award.

His many grants, fellowships, and residencies include honors from organizations such as the Michener Center for Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Lannan Foundation. He was awarded the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University for 2009-2010.

In addition to writing, Dickman appeared in the 2002 film Minority Report with his twin brother, worked for years as a cook, and has recently been active in the Writers in the Schools program. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


Green Migraine (Copper Canyon Press, 2015)
50 American Plays (Copper Canyon Press, 2012)
Flies (Copper Canyon Press, 2011)
The End of the West (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)

Dead Brother Super Hero

Michael Dickman

You don't have to
be afraid

His super-outfit is made from handfuls of shit and garbage blood and pinned together
   by stars

Flying around
the room
like a mosq-

Drinking all the blood
or whatever we

to save us

need to be saved


I whispered     To the rescue
and sat
on the dead edge
of my bed
all night

all morning

My feet did not touch the floor

My heart raced

I counted my breath like small white sheep and pinned my eyes open and stared at the door

Any second now
any second



He saved my brain
from its burning

He stopped and started the bullet it my heart
with his teeth

Just like that

He looked down from outer space through all the clouds, the birds dropping like weights

He looked out
from the center of the earth
through the fire
he was


He stood in the doorway
and closed his eyes

His cape sweeping the floor

From Flies by Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

From Flies by Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

Michael Dickman

Michael Dickman

Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award

by this poet

There is a way
if we want
into everything

I'll eat the chicken carbonara and you eat the veal, the olives, the small and glowing
   loaves of bread

I'll eat the waiter, the waitress
floating through the candled dark in shiny black slacks
like water at night

The napkins, folded into paper
My mother was led into the world
by her teeth

like a bull
into the 

She only ever wanted to be a mother her whole life and nothing else, not even a human being!

One body turned into 
another body

Pulled like that
by the golden voices of children

A bull 
out of hell

What are the birds called
in that neighborhood
The dogs

There were dogs flying
from branch to

My friends and I climbed up the telephone poles to sit on the power lines dressed like

Their voices sounded like lemons

They were a smooth sheet
They grew

black feathers