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 David Dukes Memorial Scholarship

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

 © Carol Muske Dukes


4/30/11: LA Times Festival of Books

University of Southern California

The annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be held Saturday & Sunday, April 30 - May 1, 2011. Please go here for directions and more information. Carol Muske-Dukes will be part of the following events on Satuday:

At 12 p.m., Carol Muske-Dukes will be moderating "The Poet's Responsibility: Poetic Tradition, Social Values, and Contemporary Culture". The panelists are Henri Cole, Amy Gerstler, Craig Santos Perez, and Ed Roberson.

From 2:00-2:40 p.m., Carol wil be giving a poetry reading on the USC Stage.

At 3 p.m., Carol will give another poetry reading from "Crossing State Lines: An American Renga". Dana Goodyear, David St. John, Michael Ryan and the Get Lit Players will also participate. A book signing will follow the reading.

4/28/11 - Poetry: The Letters of Elizabeth Bishop

Poetry: The Letters of Elizabeth Bishop
Thursday, April 28, 7:00 p.m.

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

"Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949-1950, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a National Book Award Winner for Poetry, Elizabeth Bishop is considered one of the most important American poets of the 20th century. Poets Stephen Yenser, Carol Muske-Dukes, andВ David St. John will read letters from Bishop and her editors at theВ New Yorker, whileВ Joelle Biele, editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence, narrates. A Q&A with the participants will follow the reading.

All Hammer public programs are free. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Hammer members receive priority seating, subject to availability. Reservations not accepted, RSVPs not required. Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6:00pm."

For more information, visit the Hammer Museum website.

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.

Magical Poetry Blimp

Dear friends,

I hope you have received your copy of the beautiful Magic Poetry Bus Driver's Guide --we managed to print a small "gift" run for our friends and donors and staff -- and now we are eager to print again. (The Bus is now changing to a Magical Poetry BLIMP, btw - our Bus was felt to be a little too close to Scholastic's Magic Schoolbus which is a trademark, so we are going with the zeppelin!)

My tenure as California poet laureate will be up in September of this year and I am very eager to see our plan of distributing The Guide free to all of California's public schools become a reality. To this end, we are launching a campaign to raise a hundred thousand dollars - or any amount below or above -- to print more copies of the Guide and get them into the schools. We are talking to individuals as well as corporations (if you know anyone involved in community outreach at a corporation or bank - please let us know.)

Here is the link to donate to the Magical Poetry Blimp project:

Please note at this GET LIT site (GET LIT IS our partner and also is our fiscal sponsor) that you are donating to our project, The Magic Poetry Bus (or soon-to-be Blimp!)

Again, any amount is welcome and we would love to hear from you.

Thanks for your generosity in the past and here's to the future!

Carol Muske-Dukes, Poet Laureate, Calif.
April 2011

4/14/11: The Archer School for Girls - Speaker Series

Thursday, April 14, 6:00 p.m.

11725 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049

"California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes will be speaking in the evening to the Archer Community. She is author of seven books of poetry, most recently Sparrow, a National Book Award finalist published by Random House in 2003. Her talk will include a poetry reading, Q&A, and a book signing. During the day, Muske-Dukes will do a poetry writing workshop with the creative writing class. For more information, email Genevieve Morgan at or visit Archer.Org. On-campus parking available."

Oprah Magazine

Famous Poets Reveal How They Found Their Calling



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.

Liz Taylor, David Coleman Dukes & Sara Ballantine

Dear Carol,

We have not spoken in way too long, and I do not hold that against you, as I know you are one of the busiest blondes in LA! Just wanted to share a reminiscence of David with you.

In 1980, when I was 24 or 25, depending on who you want to believe, me or my drivers license- David was shooting "The First Deadly Sin", with Frank Sinatra and Faye Dunaway. I think this was even before you met him, Carol. Scott was off doing "Of Mice and Men" in Hartford, and David had invited me often to visit on the set, and he said he would introduce me to Frank Sinatra! As thrilling as that sounded, I was often very busy in NYC, and could never manage to get to any of his locations in a timely manner.

Then, one day he called and said, "Hi Sara, you really should try and come down to the set tonight. We are shooting in the Wall Street area, and Elizabeth Taylor is coming down to see Frank, and we could hang out and have a great time"! Well, I wouldn't have ever forgiven myself if I had missed that opportunity, so I took a nap and taxied down to Wall Street around 9:30 pm. It was like trying to get in to Fort Knox! I had never seen so many cops without a dead body somewhere.

Finally, I was able to catch David's eye, and he squired me through the rows of New York's finest, as a limo pulled up, and out popped Ms Taylor! She was quite a sight to behold. Dazzlingly beautiful, and about 48, right? She was sweet and demure and flirtatious when she met David, and then he introduced me, and she was perfunctory, and simply polite.

When Frank came out, it was like old home week, lots of hugs, and somehow, camera bulbs flashing, as the word must have gone out to every paparazzi wanna be in Manhattan. I will never forget her energy. Covered in diamonds, it was as though they created a force field around her. She seemed almost protected by some impervious barrier, which locked her away from the rest of us common folks. Apparently, she was a real down to earth babe, who loved to eat, and loved her men, but that night, she seemed to be delighted to once again to be viewed as the best prize in life's box of Cracker Jacks. Does that reference make me seem old?

Anyway, it was only because of David that I would ever have had a moment with Liz, and I will never forget it. I hope things are going great for you, and there will be a glass of wine with our names on it sometime this year!

Love and Light always,

1/31/11: Dancing the Poem

Dancing the Poem (Visions and Voices - The USC Arts and Humanities Initiative)
January 31, 2011 at 7:00PM

USC University Park Campus
Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC)
Grand Ballroom, Section A

Free Admission

"The Get Lit Players-teen poets from Los Angeles-and USC dancers led by USC dance director Margo Apostolos will enact and dance both traditional and spoken-word poems. Poems by contemporary poets, including Joy Harjo, Robert Pinsky and others, will be read aloud by California poet laureate Carol Muske-Dukes, then interpreted by the Get Lit Players and danced in a variety of styles, including jazz, tap, modern and hip hop. The event will demonstrate the creative relationship between dance and language. A great poem may dance on the page; this event will translate that choreography of our imaginations into reality. The performance will be followed by a discussion."

Click here for more infomation about this event.

Quick Takes on MariaShriver.Com

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

Also find out what is the biggest risk that Carol has ever taken here.

11/30/10: Poets of the American West

Poets of the American West
(with Wanda Coleman, Robert Hass, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Michael Palmer)
November 30, 2010 at 7:00PM

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

Celebrated Western poets read their own work as well as poems by their favorite poets of the region.

Co-sponsored by PEN Center USA and the Hammer Museum. Admission is free. A Centennial Benefit Reception Dinner will follow the reading.

For tickets and information about the reception, please contact Aimee Walker or call 212-254-9628.

11/7/10: The Induction of Sylvia Plath to the The American Poets' Corner

The Induction of Sylvia Plath to the The American Poets' Corner (Choral Evensong - Carol speaks on Plath)
November 7, 2010 at 4:00PM

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10025

"The Very Reverend James Kowalski will preside; Poet Carol Muske-Dukes is the guest speaker; poets Marilyn Nelson, Rosanna Warren, Kelly Cherry, and Major Jackson will take part in the Service.

Both events will include sections of "Ariel: 5 Poems of Sylvia Plath for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano", composed by Ned Rorem, 1974."

For more information, please visit StJohnDivine.Org.

10/28/10: Turning Paintings Into Poem

Turning Paintings Into Poems: How Poets Look at Art
October 28, 2010 at 3:00PM-5:00PM

USC Fisher Museum of Art (HAR)
USC University Park Campus
823 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Open to the public. Admission is free. Reception to follow.

"A talk and reading by poet Tom Healy, introduced by California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes.

There are poems about movies and songs and photographs and buildings... and just about any art form you can think of. And there are countless artworks about poetry. But there is something special about the connection between poetry and painting. Poet and arts writer Tom Healy will explore the history of that relationship and how poets are responding to contemporary art today.

Healy's much praised first book, What the Right Hand Knows, was a finalist for this year's Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A veteran of the New York Art World, Healy opened one of the first galleries in Chelsea in the early '90s. He actively collects and writes about emerging contemporary artists. Healy studied at Harvard and Columbia and teaches at NYU. His new chapbook of poems, Bruised, is coming out this winter."

For more information, please go here or here.

"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.

10/21/10: The Multitasking Muse

The Multitasking Muse (What Creative Writers Do After Graduation - Featuring USC Alumni)

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 4:30PM

USC University Park Campus
Doheny Intellectual CommonsDML 233

Carol Muske-Dukes will be introducing the following writers...

Beginning with her first hand-made chapbook, "It Broke the Night," in 2006, Diana Arterian has continued to make her own books of poetry, the most recent of which are "Nadia Anjuman: Afghan Poet" and "Deliberation on a Criminal Poet." She is currently earning her MFA in poetry writing at the California Institute of the Arts, where she is an honored recipient of the Burner Family Award.

Becca Klaver is the author of the poetry collection LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010) and the chapbook Inside a Red Corvette: A 90s Mix Tape (graying ghost press, 2009). A founding editor of the feminist poetry press Switchback Books, she hold an M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago and is currently a Ph.D. student in Literature at Rutgers University . She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Paul Legault is the co-founder and co-editor of the translation journal Telephone. His first book, The Madeleine Poems, is forthcoming from Omnidawn Press. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and a B.F.A. in Screenwriting from USC. His poems have been published in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, FIELD, and other journals. Currently, he lives in Brooklyn, NY where he works at the Academy of American Poets.

Juliana Wang has studied and worked in Los Angeles, Beijing and New York. She has functioned as a commercial producer, documentary director, and translator. Her work placed in the 2009 Atlantic Monthly student fiction contest and has been published in Atlantic Fiction for kindle. She is currently pursuing an M.F.A. at Columbia University.

Light reception to follow.

"Condolence Note: Los Angeles"

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

10/10/10 Decade of Dukes

We’re celebrating a Decade of Dukes

It’s our 10th annual remembrance of a great actor, great friend, and mundane tennis player to benefit the USC School of Theatre David Dukes Acting Scholarship.

Please join us on October 10th at the Los Angeles Tennis Club for doubles round robin, trophies, souvenirs and a special supper hosted by the USC School of Theatre.

10/2/10: Maude Meehan Memorial Poetry Reading

Saturday, October 2 at 7:30 PM

California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes at the 2nd Annual Maude Meehan Memorial Poetry Reading

Cabrillo Music Recital Hall
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95003

Free. Limited seating, ticket required. For directions and to obtain tickets, please go here.

Santa Cruz Sentinel

State Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes comes to town with a mission

(link to article)

9/30/10: Poetry Reading at the University of Hartford

Thursday, September 30 at 12:15PM

Carol Muske-Dukes will give a poetry reading at the Wilde Auditorium on the campus of University of Hartford in Connecticut. The reading will last approximately 45 minutes, and there will be 10 minutes available afterwards for questions.

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