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Poets Dickman

April 6, 2009

This weeks New Yorker has a feature (subscription required) of two poets, Michael and Matthew Dickman. The twins were raised near Portland, Oregon and much of their work focuses on their neighborhood and upbringing.  The Dickman brothers have dabbled in acting (they were cast as the precogs in Minority Report thanks to their incredible paleness and the fact that they are identical twins), but have always thought themselves to be poets first.

Though they share genetic material and have always been close friends, the two poets’ works are surprisingly different. Matthew’s is Whitmanesque in its expansiveness and relies on pop culture references and depictions of quotidian life whereas Michael’s poems are full of white space, one word lines, drug references, and scenes of life’s seedier side.

I had intended to reproduce a few examples of their poetry here, but the format would have been compromised and that would take away from the effect, especially for Michael’s poetry.

Instead, I will link to Matthew’s poem “Trouble” and Micheal’s “We Did Not Make Ourselves” in hopes that the links will suffice.  No matter where you go to read them, the Dickmans are new and powerful voices in American poetry.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2009 5:45 pm

    It seems that I recall reading about the complex nature of sexual identity in their work; is that the case? I am not versed?

  2. April 6, 2009 6:58 pm

    That’s a good question and I don’t really know the answer. I’ve not read much of their work. I know much of Michael’s poetry is sexual, but I wasn’t aware that he explored much into the gender question. It is highly possible that I’m the one that is not versed. I’ll have to look more into that.

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