Michael Dickman

Poems by Michael Dickman

Nervous System

We Did Not Make Ourselves

Seeing Whales

Matthew & Michael Dickman's Q&A in the Poetry Center, Nov. 3, 2009
  Michael Dickman

MICHAEL DICKMAN was born and raised in the Lents neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. He and his twin brother, Matthew Dickman, were recently profiled in Poets & Writers and The New Yorker. Both have first books from Copper Canyon Press and have received fellowships from the Michener Center for Writers, the Vermont Studio Centers, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Dickman’s exuberant first book The End of the West breathes in the world—delight, cruelty, boredom, and grief—and breathes out a prayer that holds both grace and suffering, equally, lightly. His poems flit and play and question, depicting spiritual longing, drug abuse, gritty neighborhoods, and unfailingly complicated human relationships, and they do so with what Franz Wright calls “the utmost gravity as well as a kind of cosmic wit.”

Calling this volume “durable” work from “one of the most accomplished and original poets to emerge in years,” The Believer goes on to describe these as “lithe, seemingly effortless poems whose strange affective power remains even after several readings. Again and again the language seems to disappear, leaving the reader with woven flashes of image, situation, emotion.”

Reviewing The End of the West in Poetry, Dana Levin echoes this view. "Dickman invites me to participate in the construction of memory, or perception, in something that feels like real time; as the lines descend down the page, I literally drop down into experience: from thought to sneakered feet.... It's been some time since I encountered a poetry that, rather than talk to me or think at me, asked me to try on its body. I like it.”

Michael Dickman’s poem “Returning to Church” was awarded the 2008 Narrative Prize by Narrative Magazine. He is currently a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.






    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2009