Double Ds: David Trinidad


David Trinidad joins the Double Ds!

Trinidad is a member of the Core Poetry Faculty at Columbia College Chicago. His most recent book of poems is The Late Show, published by Turtle Point Press in 2007.  His other books include Phoebe 2002: An Essay in Verse (Turtle Point, 2003), Plasticville (Turtle Point, 2000, finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets), Answer Song (High Risk/Serpent’s Tail, 1994), Hand Over Heart: Poems 1981-1988 (Amethyst Press, 1991), and Pavane (Sherwood Press, 1981). Trinidad has been called “a master of the postmodern pop-culture sublime.” His work is also associated with the innovative formalism of the New York School. Alice Notley has written, “There is an unwavering light in all of Trinidad’s work that turns individual words into objects, new facts.”


Denise asks:
While your poetry is formal, I think you are a Reform School poet, meaning that you use form in truly unexpected ways.  Of all the “received” forms, which are you most comfortable writing?

David Trinidad:
The haiku is the first form I played around with, in the eighties, and is the one I return to most often.  I like the tininess of it (haikus are the miniatures of received forms!) and the obsessiveness of counting syllables, having to compress everything into so little a space.  Yet a good haiku opens up, makes it seem bigger than it is.  I guess that’s the payoff.  And being able to use the form in an unexpected way.  At heart I think forms are pretty silly.  That puts me in Reform School for sure.  I’m currently working on a piece called “Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera.”  I watch an episode of PEYTON PLACE (the TV series from the sixties) then write a haiku about it.  The only rules are: 1) I can’t watch the next episode until I finish the previous haiku, and 2) Every time Ryan O’Neal takes off his shirt, I have to mention it.  There are over 500 episodes of PEYTON PLACE.  Can’t you see it: a pop haiku epic!  Wonderful, but ridiculous too.



Dustin asks:
If you were in charge of selecting People’s Sexiest Man Alive, who would you pick?

David Trinidad:
If we’re talking pure testosterone, I’d have to say Jon Hamm of MAD MEN.  (If he can do a Yorkshire accent, don’t you think he’d make a perfect Ted Hughes?)  But if we’re talking about the whole package, I’d have to say that I always react quite favorably to Justin Bartha (of NATIONAL TREASURE fame).

David Trinidad to Judge ’09 Atlanta Pride Poetry Contest

• All entries must be the poet’s own original, unpublished work.
• Poems must address one of the following topics:

(1) Pride Begins With You
(2) LGBT Civil Rights
(3) Stonewall

• Two pages is the max length per poem submitted for the contest.
• Poets entering may not have been a student of the contest judge.
• All entries must be received no later than midnight on May 11, 2009.
• Poems should appear in the body of an email as well as in an attached Microsoft Word Document. The first page of the Microsoft Word document should contain the poet’s name, email address, phone number, and titles of poems submitted. The first page is the only page that should contain the poet’s name, email address, and phone number.
• Entries should be submitted via email to with a subject line of :“*Insert Name Here*– Atl Pride Poetry.”
• The contest winner agrees to acknowledge the Pride Magazine as the first publisher in future reprints of books,anthologies, website publications, podcasts, radio, etc. Copyright reverts back to authors upon appearance in the Pride Magazine.
• The final contest judge is David Trinidad. Trinidad will announce the contest winner by June 30, 2009.

• Atlanta Pride will split the collected entry fee money, 50%-50%, with the contest winner.
• An announcement regarding the contest winner will be posted on the Atlanta Pride website.
• The winning poem will be published in the ‘09 Pride Magazine with a brief bio of the winner.
• The winner will be featured at the Atlanta Pride Literary Event as well as a reading at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffee House.
• The winner will receive a brief interview to be featured in Limp Wrist, an online magazine with queer sensibility.
• Please note the contest winner is responsible for his/her transportation to and from the Atlanta Pride Festival, as well the reading at Outwrite.

• Poets may submit three poems with an entry fee of $5. Poets may submit an additional three poems with a fee of $2 per poem.
• Payments must be postmarked by May 11, 2009.
• Payment should be in the form of check or money order and made out to Atlanta Pride Committee.
• Mail to:
Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc
Attn: Poetry Contest 2300 Henderson Mill Rd Suite 125
Atlanta, GA 30345

Limp Wrist Limited Edition Chapbook

I am excited to announce that Limp Wrist is producing a limited edition chapbook, and it will be available in April 2009.

All proceeds from the chapbook will fund Limp Wrist‘s scholarship.

The Chapbook Roster
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Dustin Brookshire
Kurt Brown
Denise Duhamel
Christopher Hennessy
Charles Jensen
Mary Chi-Whi Kim
Dana Guthrie Martin
Courtney Queeney
David Trinidad
Robert Walker

If you would like to reserve a copy, contact me via email The cost is $10 per chapbook– don’t forget, it goes for a great cause.

I will personally pay your shipping and handling fees if you reserve your copy before 2/1/09.

Karen Chase, Ellen Bass, and Dorianne Laux have all agreed to write a blurb for the chapbook.

"Love Poem" by David Trinidad

Love Poem

At 4:30 a.m., I wake up
from a nightmare, bump
through the dark apartment
to pee, then sit and smoke
a cigarette in the living
room. When I get back
in bed, Ira wakes up
and says: “You’re a sweet
man, do you know that?”
I tell him I’ve been having
bad dreams. I’m lying on
my back; he tells me to roll
on my side. As I do, he presses
against me from behind and
wraps his arm around my chest.
“You’re safe now,” he whispers
into my neck. “Go back to sleep.
You won’t have any more bad dreams.”

– David Trinidad, from ANSWER SONG