Biography of Kim Addonizio
Kim Addonizio is the daughter of tennis champion Pauline Betz and sports writer Bob Addie.
She briefly attended Georgetown University before moving to San Francisco and receiving a B.A. and M.F.A. from San Francisco State University. She has taught at San Francisco State University, as well as Goddard College.
She has a daughter, Aya Cash, and currently lives in Oakland, California.
Her books of poetry include Lucifer at the Starlite (W. W. Norton, 2009), Tell Me (BOA Editions, 2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Jimmy & Rita (1997); The Philosopher's Club (1994); and Three West Coast Women, with Laurie Duesing and Dorianne Laux (1987).
Addonizio is also the author of In the Box Called Pleasure (1999), a collection of stories, and, with Dorianne Laux, the co-author of The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (1997). She co-edited Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos (2002) with Cheryl Dumesnil. Addonizio was a founding editor of the journal Five Fingers Review.
Among her awards and honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and a Commonwealth Club Poetry Medal. Kim Addonizio teaches in the M.F.A. program at Goddard College and lives in San Francisco.
Kim Addonizio Poems
What Do Women Want?
I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me.
You Don'T Know What Love Is
You Don't Know What Love Is but you know how to raise it in me like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to wash off the sludge, the stench of our past.
for Aya at fifteen Damp-haired from the bath, you drape yourself upside down across the sofa, reading,
In this shallow creek they flop and writhe forward as the dead float back toward them. Oh, I know
That Mississippi chicken shack. That initial-scarred tabletop, that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band. That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.
New Year's Day
The rain this morning falls on the last of the snow and will wash it away. I can smell
The First Line Is The Deepest
I have been one acquainted with the spatula, the slotted, scuffed, Teflon-coated spatula
Look at you, sitting there being good. After two years you're still dying for a cigarette. And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
I used an arrow to kill the spider. I used a steamroller to flatten the worm.
The woman came home to find her husband and children sitting around the table as they'd done so many nights, the lamp on the sideboard casting its usual glow
I know my friend is going, though she still sits there across from me in the restaurant, and leans over the table to dip
Lucifer At The Starlite
—after George Meredith Here's my bright idea for life on earth: better management. The CEO
Poem For The New Year
So far it's suspiciously similar to the old year: the same wild cold wind circling the yard, and that oozy substance
I know my friend is going,
though she still sits there
across from me in the restaurant,
and leans over the table to dip
her bread in the oil on my plate; I know
how thick her hair used to be,
and what it takes for her to discard
her man’s cap partway through our meal,
to look straight at the young waiter