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2013 Dartmouth Poet in Residence Nicole Terez Dutton

The 2013 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place

Nicole Terez Dutton‘s work has appeared in CallalooPloughshares32 PoemsIndiana Review, and Salt Hill Journal.  Nicole earned an MFA from Brown University and has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Cave Canem and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her book, If One of Us Should Fall was awarded the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Nicole lives in Boston where she is a lecturer at Boston University.

According to Giavanna Munafo, Dartmouth College professor and member of the selection committee, “Nicole Terez Dutton’s work vibrates off the page producing an off-kilter, seductive music.  Music drives and haunts these poems as their theme, muse, and touchstone.  The world of Dutton’s poems is at once a broken and whole one, delivering the reader, through cacophonous landscapes and intimacies, to a place, ‘ Where Etta sings / a burn that travels a body slowly, where / everything you have is enough.’ ”

A poem by Nicole Terez Dutton


And guitars burning us up, quick
as malaria, strapped into the hind bucket
of second hand Buicks, speeding
away, always, and always dumbstruck
by the drums trundled in our bones
the whole interstate home. We love
the basement band drenching us
cottoneared. We love our pomade
and polyester bodies smashing
their atoms against other bodies,
our habit of becoming massive
bumper crops of noise. Sharpened
with sweat and honeyglaze, we are
kindling, snake hips swerved to
iced Ohio hairpins, we are tucked chins
and tuned limbs set for everywhere
past curfew, past subdivision tree lawns
crackling black grackle like alarm clocks.
This blood hollers all the linking verbs
by heart, the joules inscribed within
congruent and uprising integers, the many
ways in which we are not small and not sleepy,
but born of a pure velocity. We are burning
through cassettes and frost-stunted
tulips. We love the way we carry
powerchords in our teeth and wind loops
around the block with time to kill, we love
and we love, and it doesn’t ever matter
if we get there.


From, If One Of Us Should Fall, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012