for Adrienne Rich in 2006
The poet's hands degenerate until her cup is too heavy.
You are not required to understand.
This is not the year for understanding.
This is the year of burning women in schoolyards
and raided homes
Camille T. Dungy was born in Denver in 1972. She received a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Dungy is the author of three collections of poetry including, Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Book Prize, Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006). She is also the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great (Persea, 2009), and assistant editor of Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006).
Among Dungy’s honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is also a two-time recipient of the Northern California Book Award, in 2010 and 2011, and a Silver Medal Winner in the California Book Award.
Abour her book Smith Blue the poet Ed Roberson has said:
These are large, open-hearted lyrics about love: its pleasure, its neglect, loss and remembrance. Love here is not just parental and fraternal or of lovers and husbands, but a love for butterflies, things and their places. With a subtle variety yet balance of line, these are not ponderous pronouncements, but the voice of a graceful wondering about the world and the way we carry on.
Dungy teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in San Francisco, California.