"Somewhere between Sex and the City, Sharon Olds and Spalding Grey lies the poetry of Denise Duhamel, who in six volumes during the 1990s (all from small independent or small university presses) established herself as a vivacious, sarcastic, uninhibited and sometimes sex-obsessed observer of contemporary culture. Long fascinated by downtown New York, Duhamel got poetic mileage from her once-rough neighborhoods. Now she lives and teaches in Miami: this new-and-selected sums up her NYC years . . . Its humor, anger and forceful personality could make the book a genuine popular hit." --Publishers Weekly
"Duhamel is an entertainer, as her new, retrospective collection confirms. . . . Throughout the book, each poem is utterly engaging, as hard to abandon as a chapter in a taut thriller." --Booklist
Celebrates ideas and topics that aren't often the subect of bards and poets. Her playful, inventive way of string together ideas is evident. . . . Despite the frolicsome nature of much of her work, Duhamel writes incisively about serious themes and issues. The clash between high and low art never seems abraisive in Duhamel's work." --Pittsburgh Tribune- Review
"Duhamel writes about Garcia-Lorca's Deli, Georgia O'Keefe's pelvis, a Barbie Doll in a Twelve-Step Program, Barbie as a Bisexual, Barbie's GYN appointment, and the difference between Pepsi and the Pope. . . . If you like knee-slapping, quasi-existential poetry, go out and pick up a Queen for a Day." --RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities
"Engagingly charts her evolution as a fictionist-from ribald, bemused poems about body parts and coming of age dramas to increasingly sophisticated mock-narratives. Her work is tremendous fun, but often there's an underpinning of sadness in it as well, which keeps the poems from being mere play. You'll want to read parts of this book aloud to your smart friends. Or to give it as a gift." --Stephen Dunn
"Denise Duhamel is a red-headed, red-lipped wild woman, a human and humane poet who isn't afraid to tackle any subject: violence, racism, A.I.D.S., bulimia, childishness, the myth of Bluebeard, the phenomenon of Barbie. It's been a singular joy to read this "selected" and see Duhamel's work grow and develop over the years. Queen for a Day is exuberant, brazen, bold, honest as hell, audaciously unpretentious and outrageously self-referential, a Frank O'Hara meets Lucille Ball meets Sandra Bernhard of a book: sin verguenza!" --Dorianne Laux
Denise Duhamel's Queen for a Day includes poems from her five previous full-length books (The Star-Spangled Banner, Kinky, Girl Soldier, The Woman with Two Vaginas, and Smile!) as well as her chapbook, How the Sky Fell. Her poems have been anthologized widely, including four editions of The Best American Poetry. Her work has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," MPR's "The Writers' Almanac," and PBS's "Fooling with Words." She has collaborated with the poet Maureen Seaton in two volumes: Oyl and Exquisite Politics. Duhamel is assistant professor at Florida International University in Miami.
About Denise Duhamel
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Published April 2, 2001
by University of Pittsburgh Press.
Literature & Fiction.