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 coedited, 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

If there is prayer, there is a mother kneeling, hands folded to a private sign. We recognize it. If there is a mother kneeling, hands a tent, she is praying or she is crying or crying and praying at the same time. Although it is recognized, the signals of it, it is private and no one knows, perhaps not even she,

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

This is how much fortuitiveness weighs. Measure in dirt. Of vices and other habits. Of leaving a house at 3 am and drawn as would any tether and here is your lock, my dear. I want to say this plainly: it is only when I am in a woman’s arms that my body is not a threat. Neither crosses nor damnation. Fix nor flutter