Titles 1998-2018

Belle Laide, Joanne Dominique Dwyer


Everything that matters is new again with Dwyer: tone, sound, attack; the brash, uneasy mix of materials, diction, and rhetorical poses; the volatile conflation of carnal and spiritual desires; emotion. A human being breathes these lines and the cumulative effect of her language—dense, swiftly veering, now oblique, now head-on—is overwhelming and welcome.

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Following a brief foray into the slam and performance poetry world, Joanne Dominique Dwyer went on to earn a BA in Creative Writing from the College of Santa Fe and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Bread Loaf Scholar award, and the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, and her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Conduit, FIELD, The Massachusetts Review, New England Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Poetry, and TriQuarterly. Dwyer resides in Northern New Mexico where she works as facilitator for the Alzheimer's Poetry Project.


"Joanne Dwyer is a whirling, Dionysian poet whose plaintive cry is “let me live large, in all my imperfection.”  Carnal and spiritual, dealing in the ordinary as well as the exotic, her poems pepper earthy narratives with startling philosophical asides. In these poems you will find dog food thieves and discalced saints, pitbulls, and Paleolithic burial techniques. Dwyer negotiates brazenly with huge tracts of the human condition.  Her leaping imagination will make you laugh out loud.  The poems in Belle Laide are a rodeo; hang on to your saddle, cowboy."

—Tony Hoagland

"Harems, mechanical bulls, Christina the Astonishing: Dwyer's first book, Belle Laide, is a tour de force of verse; you never know where the next turn will take you. A vivid amalgamation of dream, association, and researched material, the poems sacrifice no depth of feeling in their wild meditations on the phenomenal world; or what it means to be a person—and a woman—in our contemporary moment. A stunning debut."

—Dana Levin