When her Florida apartment is damaged by the ferocity of Hurricane Irma, Duhamel turns to Dante and terza rima, reconstructing the form into the long poem “Terza Irma.” Throughout the book she investigates our near-catastrophic ecological and political moment, hyperaware of her own complicity, resistance, and agency. She writes odes to her favorite uncle—who was “green” before it was a hashtag—and Mother Nature via a retro margarine commercial. She writes letters to her failing memory as well as to America’s amnesia. With fear of the water below and a burglar who enters through her second story window, she bravely faces the story under the story, the second story we often neglect to tell.
About the Author
Denise Duhamel is a distinguished university professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami. Her previous books include Scald, Blowout, Ka-Ching!, Two and Two, Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, The Star-Spangled Banner, and Kinky. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Past Praise for Denise Duhamel:
“Funny and satiric, always with an edge of existential sorrow.” —ALA
“Political and socially critical, yes, but [her poems’] most delicious subversion is in their delivery: frankness and its accompanying joy.” —The Miami Rail
“Duhamel… presents the miracle of how serious a life embedded in humdrum and commercialized reality can be.” —Booklist
“Duhamel puts language on a taut high wire, gives it a spotlight, and makes it dazzle. . . . Beauty is always risky, and with Duhamel at the wheel, it’s also always where we will be delivered. I’ll follow Duhamel anywhere she leads.” —Florida Book Review
“Duhamel’s poetry is admirable for so many reasons; she’s playful and wise and funny and heartbreaking all at once. What more do you want from poetry?”—Chamber Four
“The poems in Second Story are sure to stand out among the many of Duhamel’s career.” —Southern Review of Books
“Denise Duhamel can be serious and playful in the very same sentence, solemn and satiric in a single stanza. . . . Second Story continues a string of amazing poetry collections, from Queen for a Day to Ka-Ching! to Blowout to Scald. She is funny and illuminating all at once.” —Compulsive Reader