"Dacey plays, as Frost would have it, for mortal stakes. I love his unsolemn seriousness and his rangy wit." -Stephen Dunn


Welcome to the homepage of poet Philip Dacey (1939-2016).

Dacey's final collection of poems, The Ice-Cream Vigils: Last Poems, was published posthumously in November 2016 by Red Dragonfly Press.

His life and work will be celebrated at a special tribute panel at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

Philip Dacey is the author of fourteen books of poems, including Church of the Adagio (Rain Mountain Press, 2014) (a review is here) and including The Mystery of Max Schmitt: Poems on the Life and Work of Thomas Eakins (Turning Point Books, 2004), The New York Postcard Sonnets (Rain Mountain Press, 2007),  Vertebrae Rosaries: Fifty Sonnets (Red Dragonfly Press, 2009), and Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems (Rain Mountain Press, 2010).  His 2013 collection, Gimme Five, won the Blue Light Press Book Award.  Read reviews of it here and  here and here. 

Born (1939) and raised in St. Louis, he has degrees from St. Louis U. (B.S), Stanford (M.A.) and Iowa (M.F.A.).  With David Jauss, he co-edited Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms (Harper & Row, 1985).

The father of three grown children, Emmett, Austin, and Fay, he served in the Peace Corps (Nigeria, 1963-1965) and taught at Miles College, Birmingham, Alabama, in 1966. For thirty-five years a resident of Minnesota and English professor at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, he moved in 2004 to New York City, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and in 2012 returned to Minnesota to live with his partner, poet Alixa Doom, by Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. He died on July 7, 2016 from complications related to his leukemia. His body was donated to the Univeristy of Minnesota Medical School.


      His chapbook: Three Shades of Green: Poems of Fatherhood (Snark Publishing, 2006), contains work written for his three children between 1976 and 2005.

Other news:

Poetry by Dacey appears in The Great Sympathetic: Walt Whitman and the North American Review (North American Review Press, 2015) and in Volume 3 of The Great American Poetry Show.

Composer Linda Dallimore's art song based on Dacey's poem "Juilliard Cento Sonnet" won a First Prize at the 2015 Berklee Words and Music Fdstival.  

An essay by Dacey appears in The Room and the World: Essays on the Poet Stephen Dunn, edited by Laura McDullough and published in 2013 by Syracuse University Press.

A 2014 interview with Philip Dacey appears at Fox Chase Review.

Dacey is included with one hundred and eleven other writers, both living and dead, on a recently published (2013) literary map of Minnesota produced by the Minnesota Historical Society in conjunction with the Minnesota Book Awards.

Innisfree Poetry Journal (Spring, 2012) includes a long feature on Dacey, and recent issues of Verse Wisconsin online include an interview with him and a review of Gimme Five.

See reviews of Church of the Adagio and Mosquito Operas ; a second of the same; and one of Vertebrae Rosaries, plus one more of the latter (click on "D"). A review of The New York Postcard Sonnets appears in Nov. '07 issue of Peace Corps Writers. Another review of the postcard sonnets (Nov., '08).   Mosquito Operas is featured at Through the 3rd Eye.

Listen to Dacey read two poems at the Cortland Review.  Listen to Garrison Keillor read on his Nov. 3rd Writers Almanac a New York postcard sonnet and on his July 17th show "The Rules."

Poems appear in various recent anthologies: Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice (Norwood House Press, 2013), Bigger Than they Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems (Accents Publishing, 2011), Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, 2011), When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers Over 50 (Holy Cow! Press, 2010), Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath (The Backwaters Press, 2009);  Don't Leave Hungry: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review (U. of Arkansas Press, 2009) The Pushcart Book of Poetry: The Best Poems from Thirty Years of The Pushcart Prize (2007), and The Book of Irish American Poetry From the Eighteenth Century to the Present (University of Notre Dame, 2007).  

Won First Prize in the 2007 "How the West Side YMCA Has Positively Impacted My Life" Essay Contest (New York City).  Also won The Ledge Magazine's 2009 $1000 First Prize in Poetry for his poem "The Spiel."

Read online: "New York Requiem" and "Windfall." 


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