Deb: Meet Poets Camille T. Dungy and Sean Hill

On Tuesday, February 4,
, at 7 pm at the Anchorage Museum at 
Rasmuson Center
 7th Avenue
entrance), poets Camille Dungy and Sean Hill will discuss “Writing the Whole Environment”: what it means to
write about family, history, community, and the natural world. A
question-and-answer session and book signing will follow. Admission is free.

Here, an introductory
poem from each, followed by links to sites where you can learn more about the poets and
their work.
Camille T. Dungy (WideVision Photography, Marcia Wilson)
by Camille T. Dungy

Sing the mass— 
light upon me washing words 
now that I am gone.

sky was a hot, blue sheet the summer breeze fanned 

and over the town. I could have lived forever 

that sky. Forgetting where I was, 

looked left, not right, crossed into a street 

stepped in front of the bus that ended me. 

you believe me when I tell you it was beautiful— 

left leg turned to uselessness and my right shoe flung 

distance down the road? Will you believe me 

when I
tell you I had never been so in love 

anyone as I was, then, with everyone I saw? 

way an age-worn man held his wife’s shaking arm, 

the weight that seemed to sing from the heart 

clutched. Knowing her eyes embraced the pile 

was me, he guided her sacked body through the crowd. 

the way one woman began a fast the moment she looked 

the wheel. I saw her swear off decadence. 

I saw
her start to pray. You see, I was so beautiful 

woman sent to clean the street used words 

police tape to keep back a young boy 

before he rounded the grisly bumper. 

woman who cordoned the area feared my memory 

fly him through the world on pinions of passion 

as, later, the sight of my awful beauty pulled her down 

tears when she pooled my blood with water 

swiftly, swiftly washed my stains away.

Camille T. Dungy is the author of Smith
Blue, Suck on the Marrow
, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What
to Leave for Poison
. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of
African American Nature Poetry
, and co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry
anthology. Her honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California
Book Awards, a California Book Award silver medal, and a fellowship from the
NEA. Dungy is currently a Professor in the English department at Colorado State
While in Anchorage, Camille Dungy will also
teach a 49 Writers creative writing class on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6:00-9:00 pm,
How to Write a Poem: Make a List. Click here for
more details.

Interviews with Camille T. Dungy can be found here, here, and here. 


Sean Hill

By Sean Hill
Yesterday I was, one place to begin
and Today I saw, another, but I
know I doesn’t matter to you. You
don’t know I or me for that matter.
But you are
appropriately not
fit like the not it
we sang out in
our childhood games.
You’re like a
confessional or, maybe,
the restaurant
suggestion box;
you don’t care
if I’m penitent
or cynical. I
could tell you about
the side of
paradise I hiked
today with its
flora and fauna—
the birds! Or
the Sidle Parade,
a subtle
spectacle I saw yesterday,
and it matters
not. I could tell
you how I
really feel about my
father or my
shoe size, and they’d
both have the
same weight like
the Weighing of
the Heart—the soul
needs to
balance the feather to gain
entry into
heaven. Tomorrow
I intend to go
to the Dead Man’s
Button Museum.
They’re also
called dead man’s
in trains in
case an engineer keels
over. Without
pressure, the brakes engage.
Sean Hill’s Callaloo Blues
Gathering GroundThe
Ringing Ear
, and Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American
Nature Poetry

His first book, 
Ties & Brown Liquor
was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2008.  In
2009 Hill became an editor at 
Broadsided Press. 
His second collection of poetry,
Dangerous Goods, is forthcoming from Milkweed
Editions in early 2014. He makes his home in Bemidji, Minnesota, but he
has moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, to join the creative writing faculty at
 UAF as a visiting professor. 

You’ll find more poems from Sean Hill here, and an interview here. 
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