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August 28, 2013
New CSU Creative Writing Faculty member recognized by Huffington Post for her work on audio archive of emerging poets.
Camille Dungy is an award-winning poet, a two-time recipient of the Northern California Book Award, a Silver Medal Winner of the California Book Award, a two-time NAACP Image Award Nominee, and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other awards and fellowships. Recently, Dungy was named in Huffington Post’s 2013 Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry.
Dungy was born in Denver, but grew up in California. She recently made the trek back to Colorado to take a position as Creative Writing professor in the Department of English at Colorado State University.
Dungy was recognized in the Advocates for American Poetry list for her role as co-founder of From the Fishouse, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the oral tradition of poetry. Founded in 2004 with Matt O’Donnell, From the Fishouse is an online audio archive that features emerging poets reading their own works.
The idea for From the Fishouse was formed because “at that time it was very difficult to find audio of emerging poets online,” said Dungy. O’Donnell and Dungy decided to create a website that showcased contemporary writers with fewer than two books, starting with Dungy’s selection of 10 emerging poets. The website now features over 300 poets, growing with selections by Dungy and O’Donnell as well as recommendations from others. Because of the ever-increasing list of contemporary poets featured, the site is able to “stay viable and on the pulse of cutting edge poetry,” Dungy said.
The website has been popular with poets, people who enjoy listening to poetry, the spoken-word community, and has proven useful as an educational tool for teachers. “I want to help younger writers see what’s going on in their idiom—poets speaking in their language and in their time about what’s going on now,” said Dungy. In 2009 Dungy and O’Donnell created an anthology of poems from the website which is also used in contemporary poetry and creative writing classes.
This fall Dungy is teaching an advanced upper division poetry workshop and a graduate-level literature class on how we write about family and community. Dungy is also looking forward to working with faculty in the College of Liberal Arts: “They are deeply engaged in intellectual pursuits that intrigue me,” said Dungy. She is particularly interested in the environmental focus of many of the English Department faculty members.
She received her B.A. from Stanford University and MFA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Before accepting the position at Colorado State University, Dungy was teaching Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.
Dungy’s poetic interests include looking at how our past has formed us into who we are today and our attention to the non-human world, including how we care for the environment. Her books of poetry include Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006).
For a complete list of the Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry, click here.
Contact: Lindsey Middendorf