Camille T. Dungy
Dungy’s full-length poetry publications include Smith Blue (2011), a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Suck on the Marrow (2010), winner of an American Book Award, a California Book Award silver medal, and the Northern California book award; and the sonnet collection What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (2006), a finalist for both the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Library of Virginia Literary Award. Describing the poems in What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison as “rogue sonnets,” Dungy said of the poems’ speakers in a 2007 Boxcar Review interview, “These are folks who take the restrictions and traditions that have been handed to them and they do what they can to make beautiful things with their lives […] so the fact that the sonnets follow some rules and flaunt others is a direct reflection of their subjects.” In a 2009 review of the same collection for Pembroke Magazine, Tara Betts observed that the collection “offers a number of ways to look at what is considered to be a part of nature, whether it is a part of the plants or the people that inhabit a place.” As Betts later noted, “This tension of living close to passion and death simultaneously creates urgency in these quiet poems.”
Addressing the paucity of African American poets in anthologies of nature poetry, Dungy stated in a 2010 interview for the Oakland Tribune, “I miss seeing writers of color in the conversation. Until we have greater variety in the conversation, it is not a conversation—it is a monologue.” To that end, Dungy edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009), which won a Northern California Book Award and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She was also co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great (2009), and assistant editor for Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade (2006).
Dungy has won the Dana Award and the Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award, and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in 2010 and 2011. Dungy has also received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Djerrasi Resident Artist Program, Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Norton Island Artist Residency Program.
Poems By CAMILLE T. DUNGY
- More poems by Camille T. Dungy (14 poems)
Blog Posts By CAMILLE T. DUNGY
- Reading Writers
- The Poet as Hoarder, the Hoarding as a Way to Let Go
- Why I Write to Strangers, Part the Second, in which I Discuss the Happy Accident
- Why I Talk to Strangers
- The Writing on the Wall
More blog posts by Camille T. Dungy (50 posts)
- FAQs: How Do You Get Started With a Poem? Do You Start With an Idea or Just Start Writing?
- FAQs: Is It Hard to Get Published?
- Thank you. I'm trying to pay you back.
- Poetry Everywhere
- "the beautiful, needful thing": in memory of Dr. Dorothy Height
- Dying to do so
- The Place That Inhabits Me
- Question and Answer: The Top Five
- a wreath, a bugle, a monument: the written word
- In Praise of the Academy and So On
- It happens for some people
- The episode in which I prepare to hug everyone else
- the episode in which I hug everyone
- “into the shining dark”
- A Few Prompts Drawn From Wandering/Home
- Not finished yet
- The Fish
- No Pause for Breath
- Five Canadian Women Eco-Poets
- Spelling bee!
- And the poet said...
- Do Poets Dream of Lineated Sheep?
- Speaking of batting averages...
- Box by Box
- green, yellow, grey: go!
- Mujeres poetas de Venezuela/Women poets of Venezuela
- Mother's Day is on the way
- Poetry now
- What the Kids Are Reading These Days
- Poetry is making things happen! Installment #2 (Help Him Woo Sarah Silverman)
- Sound makes sense
- Poetry is making things happen! Installment #1 (Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project)
- What's the word for wonderful in your language?
- My Mississippi Spring
- Out of Isolation
- What Keeps Me Coming Back
- Home Town Poets
- The Line: Here
- "am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?"
- Looking for the Perfect Wedding Poem
- "For oh, I fear"
- In Praise of the Anthology
- New kid on the block
- In conversation
Audio & PodcastsThe Poetry Magazine Podcast
I Smell the Blood of Low-Definition Attorneys
Poems by Camille T. Dungy, Eduardo C. Corral, Linda Kunhardt, Alice Lyons, and Stephen Yenser from December's Q&A issue.
October 2015: "Let It Happen Again If You Can”
The editors discuss new poems by Corey Mesler, Camille T. Dungy, Matt Hart, and Jennifer Chang.