Dawn Lundy Martin
Dawn Lundy Martin received her MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and her PhD in literature at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst with a dissertation on experimentalism and subjectivity in contemporary poetry. She is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press 2007), winner of the Cave Canem Prize; DISCIPLINE (Nightboat Books 2011), which was selected by Fanny Howe for the Nightboat Books Poetry Prize and a finalist for both Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award; Candy, a limited edition letterpress chapbook (Albion Books 2011); The Main Cause of the Exodus (O’clock Press 2014); and The Morning Hour, selected by C.D. Wright for the 2003 Poetry Society of America’s National Chapbook Fellowship. Her latest collection, Life in a Box is a Pretty Life, was published by Nightboat Books in 2015. She is at work on a new book titled Good Stock,forthcoming from Coffee House Press.
With Vivien Labaton, she also co-edited The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (Anchor Books, 2004), which uses a gender lens to describe and theorize young activist work in the U.S. She is the co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation (New York), an organization, which was for 15 years the only young activist feminist foundation in the U.S.
Martin is currently at work, with poet/scholar Erica Hunt, on an anthology of experimental writing by black women in North America and the Caribbean (Kore Press 2015). She has written a libretto for a video installation opera, titled "Good Stock on the Dimension Floor," featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and is collaborating with architect Mitch McEwen on Detroit Opera House, “a project which stages an opera as a house, the house and its dramas of occupancy, vacancy, demolition, and re-purposing as an opera.” Martin is also a co-founder of the Black Took Collective, an experimental performance art/poetry group of three.
Photo courtesy of Max Freeman.
- Read “Negrotizing in Five or How to Write a Black Poem.”
- Read her poem “Last Days.”
- Read a review of DISCIPLINE
- Read an interview with Martin
- Check out her PennSound page
Teaching and Writing
"I ask my students to be reflective writers and thinkers, writers who not only produce finished texts, but who are also aware of the ways in which that production occurs. In addition to writing rich primary works, including essays, poems, plays, and short stories, students in my classes reflect on their writing process through meta-cognitive assignments. Students learn how to stand back from their work and understand themselves as learners. This helps them discover their own strengths and weaknesses while formulating a lexicon to talk about what it is that they do, so that they might move toward self-reliance and take responsibility for their own relationship to ideas and language."