D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell

About D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell (born May 16, 1963 Albany, Georgia) is an American poet. Powell's first three books of poems Tea (1998), Lunch (2000, finalist for the National Poetry Series) and Cocktails (2004, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry) are considered a kind of trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. His fourth poetry book Chronic published in 2009 won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 2009 Northern California Book Award, the 2009 California Book Award and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent books are Repast: Tea, Lunch, Cocktails (Graywolf Press, 2014) and Useless Landscape, or a Guide for Boys: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2012), which was the winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry.
Considered by some an experimental poet, Powell mixes both conventional and non-conventional techniques. For example, his early poems do not have titles; the first lines serve as the poems' working titles. He also does not capitalize the first letter of a new sentence; in this sense, he is reminiscent of E. E. Cummings. His work often moves back and forth between popular culture like movies and music and more complicated themes like religion and AIDS; he uses numerous rhetorical devices, especially puns, as bridges between these two spheres of experience.
He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, and served as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University. He currently teaches at the University of San Francisco.

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