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Carol Muske-Dukes

Professor of English

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2824
Office: THH 409

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

Professor, English. Founder: PhD program in Creative Writing/Literature, former Poet Laureate, California, 2008-2011, NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST, 8 books of poetry, 4 Novels, 2 essay collections, including "I Married the Icepick Killer", co-editor, anthologies, including. Crossing State Lines: an American Renga, FSG, 2011.  Many New York Times Notable Books, National Book Award finalist, LA Times Book Award finalist, Castagnola Award, Poetry Soc. of America, Guggenheim, NEA, Library of Congress award, Writer for Writers Award, many Pushcart Prizes.  Published in New Yorker, (poems),NY Times (book reviews & Op Eds) , LA Times poetry columnist,  Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Paris Review, cover, American Poetry Review, cover, Poets & Writers magazine, Atlantic, Boston Review, etc. etc. Judge - Kingsley Tufts award, National Book Award, PSA awards, Sarabande Books, Y Discovery judge, etc. etc. LA Times Poetry Columnist, NY Times Essayist. New York City Staged Readings of "I Married the Icepick Killer", play in development. New York Times Style Magazine March 2016 Poem "Live/Die"


  • B.A. English, Creighton University, 1/1967
  • M.A. English, California State University, San Francisco, 1/1970

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Carol Muske-Dukes is an award-winning author of 8 books of poems, 4 novels, 2 collections of essays, editor of 2 anthologies, and professor of English/ Creative Writing. She also founded USC’s PhD program in Creative Writing/ Literature. She is a poet, novelist, and critic, published in the New York Times Book Review, the LA Times Book Review (where she was poetry columnist, "Poets' Corner", from 2001-2006), New York Times Magazine, Op Ed, Arts & Leisure, SLATE on-line, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, the Paris Review, Tin House, the Yale Review, the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Poets & Writers Magazine (cover); she is also a regular contributor for the Huffington Post. Her most recently published books are a book of poems (Twin Cities), a novel (Channeling Mark Twain), and a collection of essays (Married to the Icepick Killer: a Poet in Hollywood). She also recently collaborated with Bob Holman on editing Crossing State Lines: An American Renga, which is a poem-conversation among 54 poets from across the country. She was a finalist for the National Book Award and twice a finalist for the LATimes Book Prize. Her pieces have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, New York Times, The Nation, The Yale Review, The American Poetry Review (cover), The Kenyon Review, etc. She has been a guest on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Michael Silverblatt's Bookworm, Morning Edition with Renee Montagne, On Point, etc. Her awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Dylan Thomas Poetry Award, the Library of Congress Award, etc. Carol was the Poet Laureate of the State of California from 2008-2011. Her statewide project was The Magic Poetry Blimp Pilot’s Guide, an interactive online and print handbook to teaching and learning poetry, which will be distributed free to California’s public school system, in association with Get Lit/Words Ignite. She has just completed a new book of poems, A Former Love, a Lover of Form - in the hands of her editor at Penguin. She has also written a play, "I Married the Icepick Killer", which had a private reading arranged by Christopher Durang, and hss been praised by Hilton Als. Her books of poems have garnered many awards and her novels, have been NYTimes Most Notable Books, both poems & novels reviewed favorably in the NY Times and the New Yorker and LA Times. Her novel, Channeling Mark Twain, was praised by media from Publishers Weekly to SF Chronicle - Toni Morrison said about Channeling: "Effortlessly, the narrator's story becomes one with the stories of the women in prison. Rarely do we encounter a perspective clear as glass, through which the characters look back at the narrator without mirror or microscope, false hierarchy or romanticizing. Brava!" An earlier novel, Saving St. Germ, reviewed in the New Yorker: "Accomplishes just what art is supposed to accomplish: It makes the world new." Besides other awards, Carol has been a Phi Kappa Phi award winner twice at USC and a Phi Beta Kappa member,via USC. Pertinent links:!/carolmuskedukes


    • Muske-Dukes, Carol & Holman, Bob (Ed.). (2011). Crossing State Lines: An American Renga. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2002). What is a Poem? in The Eye of the Poet, Oxford Univ. Press. (David Citino, Ed.). Oxford University Press.

    Book Chapter
    • Carol Muske-Dukes, chapter (Ed.). (2012). The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation. W.W. Norton.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2006). Carolyn Kizer: Her Life and Work.

    Book Review
    • Lund, E. (2011). Poetry by Stephen Dunn, Troy Jollimore, Carol Muske-Dukes and Susan Wood. The Washington Post.
    • Alkoriji, S. (2011). Twin Cities Book Review. The Library Journal.
    • Seaman, D. (2011). Twin Cities Book Review. Booklist.

    Broadcast Media
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011, December, 8). KPCC 89.3. KPCC

    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2014). Interview with Carol Muske-Dukes, The Paris Review. New York. The Paris Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2014). Zero at the Boner: "Interview with Nola Gignere", The Boston Review. Boston Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2007). City Op Ed Piece on N.Y. Prisons and Suicide. New York Times.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2007). Review of David Kirby's "House on Boulevard St.", New York Times Book Review. New York Times.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1983). Women & Poetry: The Shape of the Self. University of Pittsburgh Press.

    Journal Article
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2007). Cover Story. Poets and Writer's Magazine.

    Magazine/Trade Publication

    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). "How Memorization Makes Words Live", The Wall St. Journal. Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal

    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). Channeling Mark Twain (Paperback). Random House. Reviews, etc.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2007). CHANNELING MARK TWAIN. Random House. Reviews, etc.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2001). Life After Death. Random House.

    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). A Music Lover's Anthology. Persia Books.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). An Interview with Carol Muske-Dukes. Water Stone Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2002). Married to the Icepick Killer: A Poet in Hollywood. Random House.

    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2015). "Orphanage", The Yale Review. Yale Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2015). "Mayhem", The Kenyon Review. Kenyon Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2014). "No Hands", The Paris Review. The Paris Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2012). "A Painter Reconsiders His Canvas". Little Star.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). "Los Angeles, Lullaby". (Rita Dove, Ed.). The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century Poetry.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). "Hate Mail". (David Lehman, Mark Doty, Ed.). Simon & Schuster.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). "Scout". TriQuarterly Online. Scout
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). "Hate Mail". Boston Review. Boston Review
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2010). "Condolence Note, Los Angeles". Poetry Daily.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2010). The New Yorker.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2010). "Suttee".
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2010). "San Clemente". Verse Daily.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2010). "To A Soldier". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2010). "Condolence Note, Los Angeles". pp. 36-37. The Paris Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2010). "Two Coasts". pp. 20-21. The Yale Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2009). "Boy". pp. 90. The Atlantic Monthly.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2009). "Twin Cities". pp. 56. The New Yorker.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). "Windows" and two other poems. American Poetry Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). Boy. The Atlantic.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). "The Grief Game" & "Green River". Kenyon Review.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2008). Two Poems. Washington Square.

    Poetry Collection
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). CROSSING STATE LINES: an American Renga. Morning Edition on NPR. NPR
    • Muske-Dukes, C. (2011). TWIN CITIES, from Penguin. Penguin (Poetry Series).
    • Dove (Ed.). (2011). The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poems.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2004). Sparrow (Paperback). Random House.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (2003). Sparrow. Random House.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1999). An Octave Above Thunder: Selected Poems. Viking/Penguin.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1997). AN OCTAVE ABOVE THUNDER: New & Selected Poems.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1997). RED TROUSSEAU. Viking/Penguin.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1989). APPLAUSE. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1985). Wyndmere. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1981). SKYLIGHT. Doubleday.
    • Muske-Dukes, C. A. (1975). CAMOUFLAGE. University of Pittsburgh Press.

    Honors and Awards

    • 2012 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, 1/2012-  
    • Co-Curator - Poetry Program called AMERICA: Now and Here. A national project – with lead curator, Eric Fischl – A "moving museum" of contemporary art works (since 9/11) by major artists (Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, etc.) with National Board (Mary Boone, Steve Martin, Bob Kerrey) -- along with poetry readings, a "national renga", poetry troubadours, etc. -- traveling to over 40 cities across the U.S., including Los Angeles , 11/2008-  
    • USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, 2011-2012   
    • California Poet Laureate Citation, State Senate, Sacramento, 2009 Governor’s statement, 2009-2011  
    • Get Lit Appreciation Award, 11/2011  
    • Appointed Poet Laureate, State of California, by order of the Governor’s Office, Fall 2008   
    • Presentation of Carol Muske-Dukes as Poet Laureate by USC President Steven Sample at USC v. Notre Dame football game, Fall 2008   
    • Judge, 2008 L.A. Times Book Prize, 2007-2008   
    • WriteGirl Bold Ink Award (other honorees -- Diablo Cody, Callie Khouri, Mona Simpson, etc.) at Grammy Center, Spring 2007   
    • The Sidney Harmon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College, NYC, Spring 2006   
    • Chapin Award, from Columbia University, Graduate Writing Program, for body of work, 2004-2005   
    • WRITERS AT WORK Award, Poem chosen for postcard reproduction, 2004-2005   
    • Seattle Arts & Lectures Award, Spring 2004   
    • 'Sparrow' listed as Notable Book by the New Yorker, 2003  
    • Chapin Award for Poetry from Columbia University School of the Arts for Sparrow, 2003  
    • National Book Award Nomination for Sparrow, 2003  
    • Yale Review's Best Poems of the Year Award for Sparrow, 2003  
    • Witter-Bynner Fellowship awarded by the Library of Congress, 1997-1998  
    • LA Times Book Prize Finalist, 1997  
    • USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, 1993  
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 1991  
    • Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1984  
    • Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, 1981  
    • Castagola Award (Poetry Society of America), 1979  

    Service to the Profession

    Editorships and Editorial Boards
    • Assistant Editor, Antaeus, 1975-1981  

  • USC Dornsife Department of English
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 404
  • University Park
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354
  • Fax: (213) 741-0377