Carol Muske-Dukes

Professor of English

Contact Information
E-mail: carolmd@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-0477
Office: THH 431



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

Description of Research

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!. Pertinent links: http://carolmuskedukes.com http://magicalpoetryblimp.org http://twitter.com/#!/carolmuskedukes




  • Twin Cities (Penguin, 2011)
  • Sparrow (Random House, 2003)
  • An Octave Above Thunder: New & Selected Poems (Penguin, 1997)
  • Red Trousseau (Viking/Penguin, 1993)
  • Applause (University of Pittsburgh, 1989)
  • Wyndmere (University of Pittsburgh, 1985)
  • Camouflage (University of Pittsburgh, 1975)
  • Skylight (Doubleday, 1981)
  • Camouflage (University of Pittsburgh, 1975)


  • Channeling Mark Twain (Random House, 2007)
  • Life After Death (Random House, 2000)
  • Saving St. Germ (Viking, 1993)
  • Dear Digby (Viking, 1989)


  • Ed. with Bob Holman, Crossing State Lines: An American Renga (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)
  • The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot’s Guide (Figueroa Press, 2011)
  • Married to the Icepick Killer: A Poet in Hollywood (Random House, 2002)
  • Women & Poetry: Truth, Autobiography & The Shape of the Self, Critical Essays (University of Michigan, 1997)


Honors and Awards

  • Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, 2012
  • Co-Curator – National Poetry Program AMERICA: Now and Here 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 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
  • L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist for An Octave Above Thunder, 1997
  • USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, 1993
  • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 1991
  • Fellow of National Society in Discipline, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1984
  • Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, 1981
  • Castagola Award (Poetry Society of America), 1979
  • Janalynn Bliss, Creative Writing Graduate Coordinator
  • University of Southern California
  • Department of English
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway, THH 431
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354