Biography of Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn (born 1939) is an American poet. Dunn has written fifteen collections of poetry. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 2001 collection, Different Hours and has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his other awards are three National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Rockefeller Foundations Fellowship.
He was born in Forest Hills, Queens. Dunn completed his B.A. in English at Hofstra University and his M.A. in creative writing at Syracuse University. He has taught at Wichita State University, University of Washington, Columbia University, University of Michigan, Princeton University, and at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Dunn had earlier lived in Port Republic, New Jersey, and now spends time at homes in Ocean City, New Jersey, and his wife's hometown of Frostburg, Maryland.
Stephen Dunn Poems
The Routine Things Around The House
When Mother died I thought: now I'll have a death poem. That was unforgivable
Here And Now
There are words I've had to save myself from, like My Lord and Blessed Mother,
To A Terrorist
For the historical ache, the ache passed down which finds its circumstance and becomes the present ache, I offer this poem
How many years I must have yearned for someone's lips against mind. Pheromones, newly born, were floating
Mrs. Cavendish and the Dancer
Mrs. Cavendish desired the man in the fedora who danced the tarantella without regard for who might care. All her life she had a weakness for abandon, and, if the music stopped, for anyone who could turn a phrase. The problem was Mrs. Cavendish wanted it all to mean something in a world crazed and splattered with the gook of apparent significance, and meaning had an affinity for being elsewhere. The dancer studied philosophy, she told me, knew the difference between a sophist and a sophomore, despite my insistence that hardly any existed. It seemed everyone but she knew that sadness awaits the needy. Mr. Cavendish, too, when he was alive, was equally naïve, might invite a wolf in man's clothing to spend a night at their house. This was how the missus mythologized her husband - a man of what she called honor, no sense of marital danger, scrupled beyond all scrupulosity. The tarantella man was gorgeous and oily, and, let's forgive her, Mrs. Cavendish was lonely. His hair slicked back, he didn't resemble her deceased in the slightest, which in the half-light of memory's belittered passageways made her ga-ga. And I, as ever, would cajole and warn, hoping history and friendship might be on my side. Mrs. Cavendish, I'd implore, lie down with this liar if it feels good, but, please, when he smells most of sweetness, get a grip, develop a gripe, try to breathe your own air.
if you believe nothing is always what's left after a while, as I did, If you believe you have this collection of ungiven gifts, as I do (right here
Essay On The Personal
Because finally the personal is all that matters, we spend years describing stones, chairs, abandoned farmhouses—
The Metaphysicians Of South Jersey
Because in large cities the famous truths already had been plumbed and debated, the metaphysicians of South Jersey lowered their gaze, just tried to be themselves.
Always Something More Beautiful
This time I came to the starting place with my best running shoes, and pure speed held back for the finish, came with only love of the clock and the underfooting
Allegory of the Cave
He climbed toward the blinding light and when his eyes adjusted he looked down and could see
A woman's taking her late-afternoon walk on Chestnut where no sidewalk exists and houses with gravel driveways sit back among the pines. Only the house
Just when it has seemed I couldn't bear one more friend waking with a tumor, one more maniac
At The Smithville Methodist Church
It was supposed to be Arts & Crafts for a week, but when she came home with the 'Jesus Saves' button, we knew what art
What Goes On
After the affair and the moving out, after the destructive revivifying passion, we watched her life quiet
Just when it has seemed I couldn't bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac
with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
and changed nothing in the world
except the way I stumbled through it,