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Second Story

Poems (Pitt Poetry Series)

Denise Duhamel


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When her Florida apartment is damaged by the ferocity of Hurricane Irma, Duhamel turns to Dante and terza rima, reconstructing the form into the long poem “Terza Irma.” Throughout the book she investigates our near-catastrophic ecological and political moment, hyperaware of her own complicity, resistance, and agency. She writes odes to her favorite uncle—who was “green” before it was a hashtag—and Mother Nature via a retro margarine commercial. She writes letters to her failing memory as well as to America’s amnesia. With fear of the water below and a burglar who enters through her second story window, she bravely faces the story under the story, the second story we often neglect to tell.

Praise For Second Story: Poems (Pitt Poetry Series)

Past Praise for Denise Duhamel:

“Funny and satiric, always with an edge of existential sorrow.”  ALA

“Political and socially critical, yes, but [her poems’] most delicious subversion is in their delivery: frankness and its accompanying joy.”  The Miami Rail

“Duhamel… presents the miracle of how serious a life embedded in humdrum and commercialized reality can be.” —Booklist

“Duhamel puts language on a taut high wire, gives it a spotlight, and makes it dazzle. . . . Beauty is always risky, and with Duhamel at the wheel, it’s also always where we will be delivered. I’ll follow Duhamel anywhere she leads.”  —Florida Book Review

“Duhamel’s poetry is admirable for so many reasons; she’s playful and wise and funny and heartbreaking all at once. What more do you want from poetry?”—Chamber Four

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822966531, 110pp.

Publication Date: March 9, 2021

About the Author

Denise Duhamel is a distinguished university professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami. Her previous books include Scald, Blowout, Ka-Ching!, Two and Two, Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, The Star-Spangled Banner, and Kinky. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.