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California's new top poet

November 13, 2008 |  5:34 pm

Poet Carol Muske-Dukes is California’s poet laureate. Here are details from the governor's office:

Muske-Dukes has been a professor of English at the University of Southern California (USC) since 1993, where she founded the graduate program in literature and creative writing in 1999 and served as director of the program until 2002. She previously served as associate professor from 1991 to 1993, assistant professor from 1989 to 1991 and lecturer from 1984 to 1988 at USC. From 1972 to 1974, Muske-Dukes founded and taught in a creative writing program called “Free Space” at the Women’s House of Detention on Riker’s Island in New York, which later became “Art Without Walls-Free Space.” She is a regular critic for the New York Times Book Review and the L.A. Times Book Review. Muske-Dukes previously served as a poetry columnist for the L.A. Times Book Review from 2001 to 2004. Muske-Dukes is the author of seven books of poetry, including her most recent work, "Sparrow," which was a National Book Award finalist, and "An Octave Above Thunder," which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She has also written four novels, including the Los Angeles Times best-seller "Channeling Mark Twain" and two collections of essays. Her collection "Married to the Icepick Killer: A Poet in Hollywood" was among the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Books of 2002.

Check out her website.