The Poet’s List: Douglas Kearney


Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Quote: “Kodak flash, tattles Till tale… going slow among the hollow.” — Douglas Kearney

One Accolade: Received a Whiting Writers Award in 2008

Bio 1:

I am an L.A.-based poet, performer, librettist and teacher. My writing has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. I’ve been a featured performer across the country and on the radio. My libretto work has earned collaborations with a number of great artists in experimental and traditional theater and opera. One such collaboration, a sci-fi concert theater piece called Sucktion earned composer Anne LeBaron and me a MAP Fund grant.

I’m a Cave Canem graduate and received an MFA from CalArts where I currently teach African American Studies.

My first full-length collection, Fear, Some (Red Hen Press) is available. My second full-length collection of poems, The Black Automaton, is Catherine Wagner’s National Poetry Series selection and will be published by Fence Books in fall, 2009. I was honored to receive a Whiting Writers Award in 2008.

Bio 2:

Poet/performer/librettist Douglas Kearney’s third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. His second, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), was a National Poetry Series selection. He has received residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, The Boston Review, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Washington Square, and Callaloo. Two of his operas, Sucktion and Crescent City, have received grants from the MAPFund. Sucktion has been produced internationally. Crescent City premiered in Los Angeles in 2012. He has been commissioned to write and/or teach ekphrastic poetry for the Weisman Museum (Minneapolis), Studio Museum in Harlem, MOCA, SFMOMA, the Getty, and the Hammer. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts, where he received his MFA in Writing (04).

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