Poetry Everywhere
"This is a letter to the worm-threaded earth..."

Rebecca Dunham

This is a Letter

Rebecca Dunham's debut poetry collection The Miniature Room, which won the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize, opens with an epigraph from Gaston Bachelard: "The miniscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire world." It serves as an appropriate ars poetica for Dunham, since her poetry, as Edward Byne has written, "continually examines the smallest details that might be overlooked if not magnified under the lens of her poetic lines." Byrne continues, "[I]n fact, if readers recall [that] one of the definitions for 'stanza' in its original Italian is 'room,' the poetic connection to detail characterizes the intimate spaces of our surroundings and the compact language Dunham presents … seems even more apparent." Eloquent attention to detail characterizes the poem "This is a Letter," as Dunham's accretive listing creates a mysterious and sensual world. Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Dunham received her MFA in poetry from George Mason University and her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her poetry appears widely in journals, including AGNI, The Indiana Review, The Antioch Review, and FIELD. She is currently a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This animation was created by Joseph Hrdina, and Dunham reads.

To read this and other poems by Rebecca Dunham, as well as biographical information about the poet, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.