Poet Denise Duhamel | Program Notes

Poet Denise Duhamel

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Duhamel, nationally known crafter of poems that are playful, engaging and thought-provoking, visits Pittsburgh Friday for one of her occasional readings here.

Duhamel, who teaches at Florida International University, is published on University of Pittsburgh Press. The most recent of her numerous chapbooks and collections is 2009's Ka-Ching!.

Much, but not all of the book, is about money and wealth. Here's the first of her "eBay sonnets" from the collection.

 

The first time I moved to a warm climate
I only lasted four months, fated
to buy back the winter coat I'd donated
to the Combat Zone's Goodwill. I was upset
no one had snagged my coat in my absence.
Was my taste so bad that even the poor
clicked hangers right past my leopard fake fur?
I'd failed in Arizona, now the dense
Boston slush seeped into my plastic boots.
I'd junked a used Corvette in Tucson,
a car that could have been worth a fortune
If I'd only cared to fix it up. Loot
was not yet my forte. I overpaid.
I even got looks of pity from rough trade.

 

Duhamel's matter in Ka-Ching! ranges from Monopoly money to bra sizes; she can be cheeky and saucy, as in imagining a porno Da Vinci Code titled The DaVinci Poke, or poignant yet clear-eyed, as in recalling the aftermath of her parents' serious injury in a bizarre casino escalator accident.

Her free Oct. 15 reading is presented by the Madwomen in the Attic Reading Series (organized by Jan Beatty, who curates CP's "Chapter & Verse" feature.).

Duhamel reads at 7:30 p.m. this Fri., Oct. 15, at Carlow University's Kresge Theatre, in Oakland. A reception and signing follow. For more info, email beattyjp@carlow.edu.

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