Carol Muske-Dukes

Poet, Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Los Angeles, CA 90403

Author's Bio

Carol Muske-Dukes’s latest book of poems, Blue Rose, was published by the Penguin Poets Series on April 3, 2018. Her other books include Twin Cities (published in 2011 by the Penguin Poets Series, Penguin), four novels including Channeling Mark Twain, and two collections of essays including Women in Poetry. Seven of her books have recently been republished and released by Open Road Integrated Media as eBooks: Applause, Camouflage, Dear Digby, Married to the Icepick Killer, Saving St. Germ, Skylight, and Wyndmere. Her books have been nominated for the LA Times Book Prize, and have been New York Times Most Notable Books, and have won many awards including several Pushcart Prizes. Her book of poetry Sparrow was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award for Poetry. Muske-Dukes completed her term as Poet Laureate of California at the end of 2011 but continues to work with her Magic Poetry Blimp Pilot’s Guide project, with a new second edition for 2013 (a children's poetry handbook, both available on Amazon + downloadable FREE at and with the GET LIT teen literacy project. She coedited Crossing State Lines: An American Renga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) published in 2011, a collaborative poem about America by fifty-four of our best poets. She was awarded the 2012 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award (presented at the Poets & Writers annual dinner in New York City) and new poems appear in this year’s BEST AMERICAN POETRY (ed. by Mark Doty) and in the BEST AMERICAN POETRY Anniversary volume (ed. by Robert Pinsky). Muske-Dukes' awards include Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA, Dylan Thomas Poetry Award, Library of Congress Award, etc. Currently, a professor of English/Creative Writing at USC, Muske-Dukes founded the PhD program in Creative Writing/Literature. She has made appearances on NPR, including Terri Gross' "Fresh Air," "Morning Edition," "Bookworm," and "On Point." She writes for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and blogs for the Huffington Post.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Married to the Icepick Killer (Random House, 2002)
Women & Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 1997)


Channeling Mark Twain (Random House, 2007)
Saving St. Germ (Viking, 1993)
Dear Digby (Washington Square Press, 1991)
Journals: , ,
Paris Review
The New Yorker


Blue Rose (Penguin Poets, 2018)
BLUE ROSE (Penguin, 2018)
Crossing State Lines: an American Renga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011)
Crossing State Lines: An American Renga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011)
Twin Cities (Penguin Poets, 2011)
Twin Cities (Penguin, 2008)
Sparrow (Random House, 2002)
An Octave Above Thunder: New & Selected (Penguin, 1997)
Red Trousseau (Viking, 1993)
, , ,
Skylight (Doubleday, 1981)
Prizes won: 

Guggenheim, NEA, Ingram-Merrill, 2012 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, Library of Congress award, six Pushcarts, Poets & Writers grant (for prison programs - Rikers Island and beyond NYC), 

Pulitzer Prize finalist (long list), 2018 for  Blue Rose (Penguin Poets)

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
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Fluent in: 
Born in: 
St. Paul, Minnesota, MN
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Last update: Jan 27, 2021