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Piper Writers Studio Instructor Douglas Manuel

Douglas Manuel

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty 2019
Piper Writers Studio Visiting Writer 2018

About Douglas Manuel

Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing. He has been the Poetry Editor of Gold Line Press as well as was one of the managing editors of Ricochet Editions. His work is featured on Poetry Foundation's website and has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full length collection of poems, Testify, was released by Red Hen Press in the spring of 2017.

More About Douglas Manuel

Douglas Manuel." Poets Cafe, KPFK, February 4, 2018. 


Bosch, Sofia. "From personal struggles to poetic expression: Dornsife fellow Douglas Manuel publishes a book about his identity.Daily Trojan, August 29, 2017. 

Douglas Manuel stumbled upon poetry by chance.

Manuel, a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow and a doctoral candidate in literature and creative writing, focuses his writing on the turmoil confronting a black man in 21st-century America.

Earlier this year, Manuel published his first collection of poems in a book, Testify, where he spoke on  these issues.


Manuel, Douglas. "Are You Ready to Help the Parents of this Child in their Duty as Christian Parents?Blank Verse Films, August 2, 2018. 

My godmother answered yes. I trace the sign of the cross on my forehead. I'm driving to see her, pines blotching the side of the road.


"Testify." Poetry Foundation.

I swear on the melody of trumpet vines,
ants feasting through animal crackers, Burt’s Bees,
Tyler Perry movies, my daddy’s .38 slug, footie-socks
inside high-top Jordans, disidentification, drag
queens, blond dreadlocks, headstones
salt-and-peppering the grass, vanilla wafers
in banana pudding, Zeus-swan chasing,
blunt-guts, sharp thumbnails, keloid scars,
cash-only bars, R&B songs, on what the pot
called the kettle. 

--. "The Trenchant is Poetic: Notes on 'Washing Palms' by Douglas Manuel from Issue 298.3.North American Review, February 26, 2014. 

“Washing Palms” came to me the way most poems do, from things I hear people say and from memory. In this case, the words I remembered were my father’s. Like many of my family members, my father’s language is so direct and harsh, not poetic, yet still at the same time, these caustic characteristics actually make his language very poetic. The vulgarity of measuring distance in dick lengths and the back-handed slap of “Wish in one hand, then shit in the other, and see which one fills up quickest” has always intrigued me. My father in general has always intrigued me.



--. "Washing Palms." Poetry Foundation.

When the junkies my father sold crack to got
too close to me, he told them to back up
 
six dicks’ lengths. This is the man who when I was
seven caught me under the bed crying and said:
 
Save those tears. You’ll need them later.