Camille Dungy

(1972 / Denver, Colorado, ABD)

Biography of Camille Dungy

Camille T. Dungy (born in Denver in 1972) is an American poet and professor.
She is author of three poetry collections, most recently, Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011) and Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010). Dungy is editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great (Persea, 2009), and assistant editor of Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade (University of Michigan Press, 2006). Her poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The American Poetry Review, Poetry, Callaloo, The Missouri Review, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Daily.
Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Cave Canem, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and she is recipient of the 2011 American Book Award, a 2010 California Book Award silver medal, a two-time recipient of the Northern California Book Award, and a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee. Dungy graduated from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she earned her MFA. Recently a professor in the Creative Department at San Francisco State University (2011-2013), she is currently a Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.

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First Fire

Stripped in a flamedance, the bluff backing our houses
quivered in wet-black skin. A shawl of haze tugged tight
around the starkness. We could have choked on August.

Smoke thick in our throats, nearly naked as the earth,
we played bare feet over the heat caught in asphalt.
Could we, green girls, have prepared for this? Yesterday,

we played in sand-carpeted caves. The store we built

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