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poet

Dawn Lundy Martin

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Dawn Lundy Martin earned a BA from the University of Connecticut, an MA in creative writing from San Francisco State University, and a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Martin's first full-length collection, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007), was selected by Carl Phillips for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017); Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2014); and Discipline (Nightboat Books, 2011), which was selected by Fanny Howe for the 2009 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize.

In 2004, she co-edited, alongside Vivien Labaton, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (Anchor Books, 2004), a collection of essays on modern theories of activism in America. She also wrote the Afterword, titled "What, Then, is Freedom," to Harriet Ann Jacobs' 19th century slave narrative, Incidents of a Slave Girl (Signet Classics, 2010).

Martin is co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a national grant making organization led by young women and transgender youth, which focuses on social justice activism. She is also a member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets embracing critical theory about gender, race, and sexuality.

She has been the recipient of two poetry grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was awarded the 2008 Academy of American Arts and Sciences May Sarton Prize for Poetry.

She has taught at Montclair State University, The New School, and the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She is currently an professor in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she directs the Center for African American Poetry and Politics.


Selected Bibliography

Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017)
Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2014)
Discipline (Nightboat Books, 2011)
A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007)

by this poet

poem

Lake, interminable. I do not know where my house is. Where is my house? Summer steams by. Every border is cocked and ready. Flatten body against cool earth. Lie without sound. Be a cool corpse under wire teeth. The police are so young. They do not hear the wailing. Wailing, I’m told, is a figment of your

poem
[arbitrary line] [perish]

	knocking among other refugees

	—the islands
	—no one to help
	—thousands buried by water

A butchered animal at my feet.

Wolves howl. Soot falls from sky.

The rescuers are never prepared.
And we, here, amid a failure of images.

Scrub a spot whiter than before.
Demarcate before
poem

Near adust. Caves. Closings. Relentlessly the body leaves the bed. Does things. A day is merry and eager for prosperity. It dings dings the bell in its own head. The ritual of masking the breasts in heavy fabric, of covering the legs and feet. A face from the mirror says, I am pretty, I am pretty. Skin of opening,