Channeling Mark Twain
 Married to the Ice Pick Killer
 List of Publications
 Audio & Video
 Remembering David Dukes
 High Quality Photo & Contact

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"The Theatre of Language: the Living Poem" - USC's Voices & Visions, 2008

2015 David Dukes Tennis Tournament

• Please go here to view more photos from past tournaments.

2011 National Book Festival

Summer in East Hampton - dogwalks on beach with Mark Doty

• Carol Muske-Dukes is part of the curatorial team of America: Now + Here and directs the poetry aspect along with Bob Holman.

• Please check out my friend Carol Olson Coote's splendid blog -- "Her Own Society" - with a nod to Emily Dickinson!

• Her Own Society on Tumblr

David Dukes Memorial
Donate online today at the USC Online Giving Site Please go the website to make a secure credit card donation. Your donation is tax deductible and a USC gift receipt will be sent to you via US mail.

The scholarship, established in memory of the late actor David Coleman Dukes, is awarded annually to a third-year Theater Arts student working toward a career in stage acting. A bronze plaque commemorating the scholarship benefit held in David Coleman Dukes' name can be seen in the lobby of the Bing Theater, off Queen's Court on the USC campus.
- Madeline Puzo, Dean, USC School of Theatre

The Dukes Tournament

Proceeds from the David Coleman Dukes Memorial Tennis Tournament benefits the USC School of Theatre David Dukes Acting Scholarship.

© 2016 Carol Muske-Dukes (Carol Muske-Dukes) (Stephanie Wong)

Former Poet Laureate of California
Poetry, Fiction & Essays by Carol Muske-Dukes


My upcoming reading at UC Irvine

My new book of poems, (either to be called A Former Love, a Lover of Form OR Blue Rose -- votes?) was just accepted for publication by my editor at Penguin - great news!

What a brilliant night in NYC - hosting at the Academy of American Poets gala, with amazing poet-friends - listening to great readers, including Paul Simon, reading & singing!

I always visit David (his portrait) at Sardi's on Broadway - this time with Sophie Cabot Black - on our way to see HAMILTON!


New York Times "T" Magazine: An Artist and a Poet Capture Death in a Hospice Room

My new poem with artist's image by Nari Ward in this Sunday's New York Times' T Magazine >>

Early Bird Books: April 11th Deal of the Day for Saving St. Germ

Today's Early Bird Books features Saving St. Germ. Saving St. Germ will be down priced at $2.99 for today (4/11) only. >>


Carol Muske-Dukes will be presenting her amazing USC graduate students (PhD) in an art-inspired ekphrastic reading at the new Broad Museum in L.A. in April (Carol reading one poem as well). This is an invitation-only event. TBA


Metro Art Poetry Month Event:

In collaboration with the Poetry Society of America, Metro Art presents local poets in a poetry reading at Union Station in L.A.

Carol will join Dana Goodyear and Amy Uyematsu, who will give readings on April 21st from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM in the East Portal of the station.

For more information, visit and the Metro Art Presents: Rush Hour Readings' Facebook event page.


On April 27th, Carol Muske-Dukes will be one of the Honorary Hosts at the Poetry & the Creative Mind VIP reception, which supports educational programs, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month.

Honorary Hosts: Poets Catherine Barnett, Sophie Cabot Black, Mahogany L. Browne, Mark Doty, Jorie Graham, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Kimiko Hahn, Marie Howe, Saeed Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, Deborah Landau, Joseph Legaspi, Carol Muske-Dukes, Alicia Ostriker, Ron Padgett, Gregory Pardlo, Sonia Sanchez, Vijay Seshadri, Susan Stewart, Craig Morgan Teicher, and Anne Waldman. >>

Carol's Schedule at AWP (Associated Writing Programs National Conference)

Sneak Peek: A Late Style of Fire—the Larry Levis Documentary
Room 411, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

This panel provides a "sneak peek" screening and discussion by the filmmaker and participants of A Late Style of Fire, the revealing, unconventional feature-length documentary film about Larry Levis. The film explores his life and work through narration unveiled in words from his own poems as well as photos, videos, and artful visual explorations, and featuring interviews with Philip Levine, Charles Wright, Carolyn Forché, David St. John, Carol Muske-Dukes, Norman Dubie, family members, lovers, friends, and more. Music by Iron & Wine. >>

USC Creative Writing Faculty Reading
Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

This is a reading by USC creative writing faculty, in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, all of whom teach in the PhD in Creative Writing & Literature Program. >>


LA Times: Feminist, poet and a good neighbor: Spielberg, others, remember former USC President Steven Sample by Zahira Torres, Jason Song and Matt Hamilton >>

California's former poet laureate and USC professor Carol Muske-Dukes recalled how she met Sample: through an exchange of correspondence.

Muske-Dukes had read a story about a cheer squad at USC, and she wrote a note to Sample telling him that she thought the way the group was presented did not provide a positive image of women.

Sample disagreed -- his wife, Kathryn Brunkow Sample, had participated in cheer squads when she was younger.

Their conversation, in a series of handwritten letters, quickly expanded into a discussion of feminism. Sample, the father of two daughters, considered himself a feminist, she said.

"We got to know each other through my big mouth basically," Muske-Dukes said. "He was a friend. I really liked him as not only a man who spoke his mind very directly, but also he was a closet poet."

Muske-Dukes said they often talked about poetry. Robert Frost's "Birches" was among his favorites. She recalled how happy Sample was when she was named poet laureate for the state. He even had a copy of one of her poems in his office.

When her husband died more than 15 years ago, Sample drove from his home in San Marino to Hancock Park to be with her and her daughter. They all held hands as he said a prayer, then a poem.

"It was so touching and so typical at the same time," Muske-Dukes said, adding: "It's an indescribable loss of a secret poet as well as a great president of a university."

Friends, don't make me beg. Just send $ -- every little bit helps -- to this funding platform & if you want a part in a cool film - give a lot!

FRIDAY NIGHT! "I Married the Icepick Killer" by Carol Muske-Dukes at GUILD HALL, EAST HAMPTON! 7:30

I MARRIED THE ICEPICK KILLER, A New Play by Carol Muske-Dukes, at Guild Hall

March 11th - Guild Hall
Please come if you're anywhere near EHampton - I'll be in the City before & after -

Cheers & thanks,

For more information, visit

John Cleese on (Fox News) stupidity >>

New Huffington Post Blog Post - "Hillary: True Story"

Hillary: True Story by Carol Muske-Dukes (Feb. 9, 2016) >>

Happy Thanksgiving with daughter Annie (& Johnny & pups Rhombus & Lana) in very snowy Bend, Oregon!

"Channeling Mark Twain" Interview with Terry Gross

Listen to Carol Muske-Dukes' interview on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross from July 5, 2007 >>

Elsie K. (Kuchera) Muske Obituary | Star Tribune

Early this morning (September 24, 2015), my mother, Elsie Muske, passed away in her sleep in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a poet at heart, and as her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren knew, she had countless poems by heart and could recite them all. "Sunset and evening star and one clear call for me / May there be no moaning of the bar when I put out to sea." She was 99 years old.

Huffington Post Blog Piece - "Gale Force"

Gale Force by Carol Muske-Dukes (Posted on Sept. 8, 2015 | Updated on Sept. 14, 2015) >>


Republican leaders are threatening to shut down the entire federal government for the second time in three years unless Congress cuts funding for Planned Parenthood. We cannot let them get away with it!

Planned Parenthood is a lifeline for millions of women, providing cancer screenings, contraception, and basic preventive health care to women across the country.

That's why I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate, which says:

"STOP the war on women and Planned Parenthood. Don't cut a dime in federal funding for Planned Parenthood."

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:


Happy Birthday, Annie!

Annie celebrates her birthday with me on a fun run in Bend!

"I Married the Ice-pick Killer"

Praise for "Married to the Icepick Killer: A Poet in Hollywood" in the Los Angeles Times

See the play, I Married the Ice-Pick Killer, on Sept. 11 at 7pm at #HowlHappening. Tickets available at ... all proceeds to benefit The Actors Fund.

Staged Reading of "I Married the Ice-pick Killer"

To purchase tickets, visit


Two staged readings in Manhattan coming up! On September 11, 2015, the play will be read at the HOWL HAPPENING Gallery/Theater Space at 6 East 1st St. -- at 7 PM as part of the New Play Festival, benefiting the Actors' Fund. There is an admission charge - less if done on-line - $8. (Suggested donation) Directed by Christopher Grabowski, with actors Caroline Kinsolving, David Joseph, Ann Pellegrini and others.

The second staged reading will be at the Stella Adler Studio Center (affiliated, NYU TIsch) on December 17th, 2015, time TBA.

Please plan to attend if you're in the City!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It: It's a Way of Looking at the World!

The Virginia Quarterly Review (Summer 2015): Carol Muske-Dukes and the Art of Empathy by Debra Nystrom >>

Recent Reviews of New Poetry Books!

Huffington Post Blog (June 1, 2015) >>

Life and Work

• Carol Muske-Dukes, USC Professor of English and Creative Writing, talks about how poetry is part of her life — and her work. >>

Video by Mira Zimet & USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences

Is Your Vet Your Pet's (& Your) Best Friend? (Part 2)

Huffington Post Blog Entry (April 28, 2015) >>

Huffington Post Blog (March 15, 2015)

Are Veterinarians Your Dog (and Your) Best Friends? >>

My Annie & little Flossie!

Annie & Mr. Coleman

On the Record - Past Reading (University of North Dakota Writers Conference)

March 26, 2015

12:00 p.m. Panel: "In the Heart of the Country" (Carol Muske-Dukes, Gish Jen, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and Roxane Gay)
Moderator: Melissa Gjellstad

2:00 p.m. Community Workshop : Fiction
Film: A Little Romance (Dir. George Roy Hill, 1979, 108 min.), selected by Carol Muske-Dukes
Lecture Bowl

4:00 p.m. Reading: Carol Muske-Dukes >>

Mom Holding On at 98 - with me, in Minnesota

Los Angeles Times: How Tom Sleigh, Marilyn Hacker, Deborah Landau, Cecilia Woloch bear witness

by Carol Muske-Dukes (March 6, 2015) >>

Christmas at Annie's

Early Bird Books Newsletter

I Married the Icepick Killer ebook on sale this December: s

Mark Strand, a revelatory poet of love and death

LA Times - Poet Mark Strand wrote for the ages, his voice unparalleled: Carol Muske-Dukes pays tribute >>

Check out my Annie's beautiful new blue hair!

Those Who Hope Not To Be Erased: Paris Review Interview -- CMD

"A writer and poet whose verse recently appeared in the Spring issue of The Paris Review–Carol Muske-Dukes has long been interested and active in presenting a public face of poetry. A former poet laureate of California and a teacher for many years, she founded the Ph.D. program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern California and began a writing program, in 1972, at the Women's House of Detention on Rikers Island in New York. On the heels of National Poetry Month, I spoke with Muske-Dukes at her home in Southern California about the many contemporary approaches to reading, writing, and thinking about the art of poetry, from hip-hop to "unoriginal genius" and how language matters."

Open Letter Poem: Huffington Post - November 14, 2014

by Carol Muske-Dukes >>

A single fact to start: Nicholas Kristof (and others) have reported that more women were killed in the last 50 years just for being women than all of the men in all of the wars of the 20th century! Come again? It's a fact. The men bought it in World Wars or regional wars or battles sanctioned by the State -- the women all died because they had female body parts! 

Do we all know that a 27-year-old, critically ill woman (26 weeks pregnant) died recently while undergoing a Cesarean section ordered by a judge in Washington, D.C., in his attempt to save the fetus? (The judge, by the way, was aware of the great risk to the young woman's life.)

The world was outraged by the YouTube beheadings of journalists by ISIS, but, folks, women are beheaded (or stoned to death) with appalling regularity in countries like Saudi Arabia. Just for "being women" -- or for acting on human desire, for having an opinion, for seeking to be educated.

Sixteen-year-old Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai is shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up, in Pakistan, for the rights of young women to go to school. (You know the saying: The Taliban doesn't fear bombs or drones -- they fear a young woman with a book.)

From deadly gang-rapes in India, to rapes in the U.S. (and the billing of rape victims for rape kits!) to sexual harassment in the military to sexual violence on campuses across the U.S. -- hey, sisters, look around? Former President Jimmy Carter says in his book, A Call to Action, "The world's discrimination and violence against women and girls is the most serious, pervasive and ignored violation of basic human rights."

What will it take for our feminist leaders to speak out? What will it take for our politicians (both parties) to finally admit that this assault on every aspect of a woman's existence has gone far enough?

I'm a poet. Who listens to poets? Nobody! But since it seems to me that very few other women (with some exceptions) are pushing back against this ongoing and universal assault on our sex, I've (yes!) written a poem of protest. Laughable? I intend to write more about this gender war. But for now, here is a poem about birth control. Yes, a poem.

When it is said that the tea party fundamentalists (like all fundamentalists, in whatever religion) are obsessed with "lady parts" -- and their critics charge that they are condemning us to the "dark ages" -- I offer this poem in response.

If the "dark ages" are understood to be any century prior to the one in which we (briefly) live -- then surely, if we go back to 6th and 5th centuries, B.C.E., to huge Cyrene ship trade from North Africa to Rome and beyond, we find that the biggest "seller" was a plant called Silphium, whose resin was a highly effective form of birth control. So effective and so wildly popular was this plant that a whole economy was built around it, and a currency -- a silver coin depicting a woman bowing to Silphium was as common as quarters are now. 

But there's more. The symbol of this "safe sex" plant (or its seedpod, which resembled a woman's private parts) became the shape of what we call the "heart," the romantic sign of love.

It's obvious that our heart muscle doesn't look like the Valentine cartoon that fuels are image of romance and affection. The Silphium plant, however, and its curvy "pod" was painted on signs in the ancient world advertising safe sex and gave us that symbol. Which our ancestors were smart enough to know was necessary, fair and respectful of women. And men.

So next time you see a Valentine, think of birth control. That's where that sweet red symbol came from.


The missing history of the heart is here
Where the shape of Love originated -
Double lobe of an ancient seedpod.

Senator, our universal symbol of Love, the heart,
did not come from a pumping lump, but from
this pharma sign in ancient doorways, on walls,

meant to mimic a woman's intimate parts.
The good plant's ovary: an ad for safe sex,
Love without fear, when one sipped its elixir.

Look! Here is my sister, a talking vagina, re-
Minding you that a woman's sex is not a draw-
bridge, though girls can learn to crank a chain.

Would that it grew again, Senator, recultivated
Centuries after it was harvested to extinction.
Would that we could rocket back to that one

Shimmering patch of North African till-able.
The only place on earth it consented to grow.
Call up the cargo ships again, the winged vessels.

Women waited in the world's harbors, they wait still. 
Not for "I want you", but for "I want you in small doses". 
Paid for in coins from the temple of Silphium: mint image,

a woman, bowing to a plant between her legs. We pay in hearts now, 
fake shapes of romance, boxed Valentines from your Church of Holy Come, becoming an eyelash of cells you won't be Daddy to, yet stamp your face

on the Mommy coin. Babies & guns, Senator: the heart of America!
But the smiley faces are frowning now: they "heart" the Right.
The drawbridge draws in. My sister, the talking vagina, remains silent.

Mark Strand & Carol Muske-Dukes at a Poetry Society event


NYTimes: Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats in 'GamerGate' Campaign >>

Petition: Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League

I just signed the petition "Congress: Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 500,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

Boston Review Interview with Nola Gignere by Carol Muske-Dukes

September 10, 2014 >>

Get Lit - Classic Slam

My niece Molly's beautiful new daughter, McCartney Catherine!

Here is my new dog, Joan Rivers Floribunda, adopted from the South LA animal shelter on Sept. 6 - joining Coleman & me!

Coleman & Flossie: Getting Along

Academy of American Poets "Poem-a-Day" - August 7, 2014

"Failure to Thrive" >>

THE VOICE OF WOMEN IN AMERICAN POETRY: with Cyrus Cassells, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Maggie Nelson

Thursday, Sep 18, 7:00pm
Pasadena Central Library Auditorium
285 E. Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA

The PSA's 2014 National Series pays tribute to the immense achievement of a wide range of poets, from Emily Dickinson and Emma Lazarus to Sylvia Plath, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, and Wanda Coleman. In this Pasadena installment, distinguished contemporary poets will celebrate the lives and poetry of three 20th century figures, discussing their influence and reading poems of their own in tribute:

Cyrus Cassells on Ai
Carol Muske-Dukes on Ina Coolbrith
Maggie Nelson on on Eileen Myles

Co-sponsored by the Pasadena Central Library. For more information, visit PoetrySociety.Org.

A Tribute to Mark Strand (Thursday, Oct 9, 7:00pm)

The New School
The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street
66 West 12th Street
New York, NY

Please join us as we celebrate the 80th birthday of legendary poet Mark Strand. With readings and tribute by Jonathan Aaron, John Beer, Peg Boyers, Timothy Donnelly, Jorie Graham, Edward Hirsch, John Koethe, David Lehman, Honor Moore, Carol Muske-Dukes, Jacqueline Osherow, Mary Jo Salter, Alan Shapiro, Vijay Seshadri, Charles Simic, Tom Sleigh, Susan Stewart, Rosanna Warren, Charles Wright, and Andrew Zawacki.

Co-sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, the New School Writing Program, and the Poetry Foundation

Admission is free. For more information, please visit

Mom at 98 with daughter (me) & great-grandaughter Louisa

At the Guthrie Theatre - in the "amber box" overview - with my sister Michele Mueller & sis-in-law Jane Pates Muske, August 21: Minnesota

Ebola Research Slow-Down by Big Pharmaceutical Companies: Meanwhile we look at our navels through big-sell "reality"

August 5, 2014 - Huffington Post - Augmented Reality >>

Order Poetry, Fiction & Essays by Carol Muske-Dukes from OPEN ROAD MEDIA — re-published as E-BOOKS!


Muske-Dukes was hailed by Donald Justice as "One of the best poets of her generation."

"Accomplishes just what art is supposed to accomplish: it makes the world new." —The New Yorker

"The linkage of blood and blood; the hummingbird, symbol of all that is luminous, swift, and ephemeral; the light, sure touch-these are characteristic of [Muske-Dukes'] art." —The New York Times Book Review

(New York, NY—June 10, 2014)—Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher and multimedia content company, announced today that it will release and market seven works by Carol Muske-Dukes on June 10:

· Applause
· Camouflage
· Dear Digby
· I Married the Icepick Killer
· Saving St. Germ
· Skylight
· Wyndmere

Carol Muske-Dukes is the author of eight books of poems, four novels, and two essay collections, and is an editor of two anthologies, including Crossing State Lines: An American Renga, which she coedited with Bob Holman. Many of her books have been New York Times Notable selections. Muske-Dukes is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Southern California, where she founded the PhD program in creative writing and literature, and she recently fulfilled her appointment as poet laureate of California, appointed by the governor's office. Her poetry collection Sparrow was a National Book Award finalist and she is a six-time Pushcart Prize winner. She writes for the New York Times Book Review and the New York Times op-ed page, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, and the New Yorker's Page-Turner blog. Her poems have been published and anthologized widely, including in several editions of Best American Poetry. Muske-Dukes has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Library of Congress award, Barnes & Noble's Writer for Writers Award, and many other honors. She lives in Southern California and New York.

Visit for more information.

About Open Road Integrated Media: Open Road Integrated Media is a digital publisher and multimedia content company that creates connections between authors and their audiences. Open Road has published ebooks from legendary authors including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, James Jones and Virginia Hamilton.

The Voices and Faces of Palestine - Summer, 2014

POETRY & PHOTOGRAPHY - Confessions at Midrange by Nathalie Handal >>

Carol Muske-Dukes visited Hotchkiss on September 25, 2013

Recent Poems in The Paris Review & Smithsonian Magazine

Click here to read "Mark Twain's Dream", a new poem published in Smithsonian Magazine. Another recent poem, "No Hands", is in the current issue of The Paris Review (No. 208, Spring 2014).

Women's Wear Daily
Feting The Paris Review >>

LA Times Op-Ed: Welcome, Professor Bieber — by Carol Muske-Dukes

Here's a modest proposal: Why not ask one of our major universities to step up and hire him? >>

NEW BOOKS OF POEMS: LA Times Roundup Review, March 15, 2014 — Carol Muske-Dukes

Poetry shelf: Jane Mead, Maxine Kumin, Kevin Young, J.D. McClatchy >>

Book Signing at Hudson News, United Terminal @ LAX

Source: [Instagram]

Carol Muske-Dukes will have a book signing at Hudson News (United Terminal, Los Angeles International Airport) on April 17, 2014 for National Poetry Month.

Carol's 97 year old mother, Elsie Kuchera Muske, publishes an extraordinary book of vignettes about growing up in North Dakota during the Great Drought and Depression - available on Amazon!

Wyndmere Wind-Rows: Memories of Growing up on the Dakota Plains by Elsie Kuchera Muske

Annie & Mom make traditional candy cane cookies for Christmas - Annie's house - Oregon

Please use the following high-quality resolution photos for all press and articles:

Carol Muske-Dukes Carol Muske-Dukes Carol Muske-Dukes Carol Muske-Dukes

The second photo is by Carlos Puma.
The third photo is by Micah Baird (Women's Wear Daily).

Yale AIDS Memorial Project

"Paul Monette and his friend Carol Muske-Dukes exchanged poems during difficult periods of their lives. The poems and their correspondance is featured in the following slideshow link, along with Carol's reflection on these exchanges." >>

Huffington Post — MS. Havisham

Reintroducing Myself — on Fire >>

CBS - Best Local Poets In Los Angeles

Latest Best of LA >>

Timothy Steele and Carol Muske-Dukes talk about Robert Frost on A&E BIOGRAPHY Channel

Robert Frost - Mini Biography >>

LA TIMES Book Review (August 15, 2013): David Rakoff reviewed in verse

'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish' by David Rakoff rhymes, as does this review. Don't be afraid of either. Review by Carol Muske-Dukes. >>

The Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry (2013)

Carol Muske-Dukes is included in this list by Seth Abramson >>

The New Yorker - John Cheever At Sing Sing

by Carol Muske-Dukes >>

The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide #2

The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide #2 is now available at Amazon. >>

2011 National Book Festival

Academy of American Poets — Poem-A-Day

Carol Muske-Dukes' After Skate is featured as the Poem-A-Day for May 20, 2013. >>

The Best American Poetry 2012 is available at Amazon and other bookstores. This anthology includes a poem by Carol Muske Dukes. For more information, visit the book's website.

Slouching Toward a Brief Literary History of Southern California

Read this essay by Carol Muske-Dukes, originally published on October 19, 1997 in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. >>

Carol Muske-Dukes: A Partial New York Times Archive

• Past New York Times articles by Carol Muske-Dukes >>

Note from Carol Muske-Dukes

Though I've stepped down as California Poet Laureate - I am still committed to The Magical Poetry Blimp (and GET LIT/Words Ignite)! Please help The Blimp fly high with our continuing projects -- provide a tax-deductible donation:

Click on in order to donate to the Blimp (Magical Poetry Blimp is found under the "Organization" drop-down menu) --

You may download The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide for FREE at

Thanks - and we'll keep you posted (re: our upcoming projects)!

- Carol Muske-Dukes, Former CA. Poet Laureate

LA Times - Muske-Dukes on her post
Official Press Release from Governor Schwarzenegger - Meet California's Poet Laureate - The Magic Poetry Bus Driver's Guide: A message from the poet laureate of California



List of Works & Publications [Buy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble]
• TWIN CITIES, Penguin Poets Series, 2011
• Sparrow, 2003
• An Octave Above Thunder, 1997
• Red Trousseau, 1993
• Applause, 1989
• Wyndmere, 1985
• Skylight, 1981
• Camouflage, 1975

• Channeling Mark Twain, 2007
• Life AFter Death, 2000
• Saving St. Germ, Viking, 1993
• Dear Digby, 1989

• Married to the Icepick Killer: A Poet in Hollywood, 2002
• Women & Poetry, 1997

• Crossing State Lines: An American Renga, co-edited: Carol Muske-Dukes & Bob Holman, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011
• The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide, editor: Carol Muske-Dukes, with Diana Arterian, Figueroa Press, 2011

Many of these collections were New York Times Most Notable Books.                                                                         

Twin Cities is now available for sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Los Angeles Review of Books - A Rave for Twin Cities

Find Yourself A City To Live In by Peter Campion >>

Twin Cities

By Carol Muske-Dukes
Order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A sophisticated and lyrical new collection from one of today's finest living poets

Carol Muske-Dukes is an acclaimed novelist and poet whose latest collection, Sparrow, a haunting elegy for her late husband, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Twin Cities is an emotionally rich book of poems about how things double - by reflection, by reproduction, by severance. The poems embark from the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, divided by a legendary river, and then move on to the parallel histories of a life lived and a life imagined - and the random intersection of the two. Lit by loss, these moving poems navigate between the poles of love and grief, curse and blessing, abandonment and rescue - they are two, and they are one.

Praise for Twin Cities:

"Exploding with capacity and ambition, Carol Muske-Dukes' new poems are the strongest yet from a poet whose work has long been essential reading. Twin Cities formal and architectural intelligence is stunning, as well as heart-stopping in its insight into 'how damage is made.' The richness of the language is made to carry the maximum bearable amount of emotion - political, spiritual, social, familial, erotic - via brightly-lit imagery which astounds with its originality, felicity, and honesty."

- Jorie Graham

Poet, essayist, and novelist Muske-Dukes discerns metaphorical resonance in her birthplace, St. Paul, Minnesota, and its twin city, Minneapolis. The symbiosis between the twin cities with a river between them inspires reflections on various forms of doubleness in poems as beautifully contoured and polished as river stones turned and lathed and buffed by deep currents. Muske-Dukes' language is earthy and unadorned, and yet, within her gleaming lines, common words shape-shift and morph into fresh and disarming imagery and realizations. In vibrant tableaus, wrenching stories, portraits, elegies, social objections, and metaphysical equations, the poet––lyrical, mournful, and funny—considers such "twins" as life and death, past and present, war and peace, men and women, art and life, yes and no. Ice-skaters do the whip; two kids labor over a condolence note; a mirror frames the essence of a relationship. The poet, Muske-Dukes muses, is a "go-between," a "double emissary," and she nimbly and exquisitely performs the poet's spirit-sustaining art of observation, remembrance, protest, connection, and drollery in a lucid, involving, and deeply gratifying collection.

— Donna Seaman (from BOOKLIST)

Nora Ephron

• Note from Carol on Nora's passing >>
• Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien! - Nora >>

Huffington Post Blog

SOLDIER TO POET: An Exchange >>
• Soldier to Poet (Part II) >>
• Soldier to Poet: Naming of Parts (Part III) >>

• Singing School: A Chorus >>
• Diving Into the Wreck: Reviewing the Reviewer >>
• Patt in the Hat: Not Coming Back?? >>
• Wizard of OZ - Romney >>
• Nowhere Man >>
• Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien! - Nora >>
• Obama + Shelley Get it Right: Poets ARE the Unacknowledged Legislators of the World! (An OMNIBUS Book Review) >>

You may find more past blog entries here.
LA Times: Obama's inauguration poet is a fresh burst of firsts

"Cuban American Richard Blanco will not only be the first Latino poet to be so honored, but the first openly gay man to be selected as well." This article includes quotes from Carol Muske-Dukes. >>
White Key to Have West Coast Premiere at VOLTI in San Francisco

• The poem by USC Dornsife's Carol Muske-Dukes about "leaning up into love" will be performed in a musical composition by Reena Esmail. >>

Interview on KPCC with Patt Morrison

• Carol Muske-Dukes discussed the value of memorizing poetry on Southern California Public Radio. To listen to this interview, go here.

The Wall Street Journal - Word Craft

How Memorization Makes Words Live >>

From Zócalo Public Square - The Voyage Home

Cold and Divided: How Did the Minnesota of My Parents Become Like the America of Today? >>

Women's Voices For Change: 'Twin Cities' Re-visited

• Poetry Friday: 'Twin Cities' Re-visited – More From Carol Muske-Dukes' New Collection. >>

June Midwest Connections Pick: Twin Cities

• The Midwest Booksellers Association has selected Twin Cities as one of their June Midwest Connections picks. >>

NPR Interviews

• On April 22, 2011, Carol was interviewed on NPR's Morning Edition and On Point. Visit both links to listen to the interviews.

2011 Scarriet 2nd Annual March Madness Tournament

• Carol's poem "A Former Love, a Lover of Form" advanced to the Elite Eight in the March Madness tournament. >>

Oprah Magazine

• Famous Poets Reveal How They Found Their Calling >>

Quick Take With Carol on MariaShriver.Com

• What is the best advice Carol Muske-Dukes has ever received? Visit Maria Shriver's website to find out.

"San Clemente"

• Carol Muske-Dukes' "San Clemente" is a 2010 Favorite of VerseDaily. It was the featured poem for May 3, 2010. >>

"To A Soldier"

• Carol Muske-Dukes' "To a Soldier" is the featured Monday poem for October 25, 2010 on The Chronicle of Higher Education's website. >>

Poetry Daily

• Carol Muske-Dukes is Poetry Daily's Featured Poet for Tuesday, October 12, 2010. "Condolence Note: Los Angeles" is the poem of the day. >>

• Carol Muske-Dukes is Poetry Daily's Featured Poet for Monday, June 14, 2010. "Twin Tree" is the poem of the day. >>

Q&A w/ Carol Muske-Dukes at Smartish Pace

• Carol answered questions at

Maria Shriver's
Poetry Month Blog

• April is National Poetry Month. The Women's Conference and California's First Lady Maria Shriver want to honor the importance of art, creativity and poetry in our lives. During April, they'll be sharing some of their favorite poems. They have chosen to feature two of Carol Muske-Dukes' poems (Twin Cities and Boy) here.


Voice of America -
US National Poetry Month Encourages Reading, Writing Verse >>

Santa Monica Mirror -
Samohi Poetry Slam >>

USC College Magazine - Elegant Elocution >>

The New York Times Archive of Articles by Carol Muske-Dukes >>

Santa Cruz Sentinel - State Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes comes to town with a mission >>

BOMB Magazine - Carol interviews poet Tom Healy >>

Poetry Foundation - Carol Muske-Dukes & Bob Holman Start a Neo-Con Convo on Poetry and Empire with American Renga >>


Boy on The Atlantic >>
Podcast of Carol reading "Boy" >>

Twin Cities: Poem in The New Yorker >>

Suttee at You can also listen to a podcast of Carol reading this poem. >>


Video clips of The Creative Community and Poetry Readings >>

• Podcast of Carol's 2007 interview on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross >>

• Poets Rita Dove, Carol Muske-Dukes, Marilyn Nelson and Lisa Russ Spaar perform as "The Pink Tuxedos" at the 2001 conference of the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) in Palm Springs, CA. [Watch video clip]

Crossing State Lines:
An American Renga

Edited by Bob Holman and Carol Muske-Dukes
Order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A collaborative poem about America, from fifty-four of our best poets

Crossing State Lines: An American Renga is a poetic relay race across the continent: fifty-four poets responding to ideas of America-and to each other. This is a collaborative journey of impressions-from the election and inauguration of President Obama, through foreclosures, job losses, chords of country music, and bombs in Baghdad, to a poet-soldier's rifle-sight in Afghanistan.

The renga itself, in the ancient tradition of Japanese linked verse, provides the form of this historic conversation among the poets, as they meditate, within ten lines, on a moment in America. Crossing State Lines begins with Robert Pinsky's recounting of a line of poetry by Lincoln as fall deepens and "maples / kindle in the East," and ends some five hundred lines later, with Robert Hass's "greeny April" on the Pacific coast.

All proceeds from sales go to America: Now + Here.

• Sotheby's Benefit Auction for America: Now & Here in New York on June 23, 2010. From left to right: actress Swoosie Kurtz, playwright Marsha Norman, poet Carol Muske-Dukes, and poet Bob Holman.

The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide is available at Amazon. The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide #2 has also been released recently. >>

• Hop on the Magic Poetry Bus >>

USC College News & Events: All Were Aboard on the Magic Poetry Bus >>

Annie Muske-Dukes Weds Johnny Driggs
March 13, 2010 - San Diego

You may find all past blog entries here.


Soldier to Poet (Part II)

Soldier to Poet: Naming of Parts (Part III)
Singing School: A Chorus
May 19, 2013

Diving Into the Wreck: Reviewing the Reviewer
February 25, 2013

Patt in the Hat: Not Coming Back??
October 31, 2012

Wizard of OZ - Romney
October 8, 2012

Nowhere Man
August 22, 2012

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien! - Nora
July 1, 2012

Obama + Shelley Get it Right: Poets ARE the Unacknowledged Legislators of the World! (An OMNIBUS Book Review)
June 23, 2012

Vatican: Vatican't! (Newsflash to Rome From Joan of Arc)
May 27, 2012

Don't Bank on Banks -- Except for One!
December 5, 2011

Scattershot Poetry Reviews -- Three Books
August 21, 2011

More Response to Westen's "Story" Theory for Obama
June 6, 2011