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Dawn Lundy Martin

Director, Center for African American Poetry and Poetics
Toi Derricotte Endowed Chair
CL 628-F

Dawn Lundy Martin is an American poet and essayist. She is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood, winner of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; Life in a Box is a Pretty Life, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; DISCIPLINE, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering, and three limited edition chapbooks. Her nonfiction can be found in n+1, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Believer, and Best American Essays 2019. Martin is the Toi Derricotte Endowed Chair of English in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh; she is also Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.  

Martin’s current creative-scholarly work operates at the intersecting fields of experimental poetics, video installation, and performance. Letters to the Future: BLACK WOMEN / Radical WRITING, co-edited with Erica Hunt, was published in 2018 by Kore Press. Her video installation work has been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. In 2016 she was awarded an Investing in Professional Artists Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments. Martin has also written a libretto for a video installation opera, titled “Good Stock on the Dimension Floor,” featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and collaborated with architect Mitch McEwen on Detroit Opera House, a conceptual architecture project. She is the recipient of a 2018 NEA grant for Creative Writing in prose. With Ronaldo V. Wilson and Duriel E. Harris, she is also a co-founder of the Black Took Collective, an experimental performance art/poetry group of three.  

Martin's current project titled, What Happens When a Person Goes Missing, is a hybrid memoir of linking essayistic prose. The book investigates the tensions between black disenfranchisement & poverty and black class & cultural privilege within the context of racist state violence. 


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