Literature 11-17-2009

mnLIT presents: Elizabeth Dingmann

This week's mnLIT-winning piece, "Double Bound" by Elizabeth Dingmann, was selected for the 2009 cycle of's What Light Poetry Project by poet Leslie Adrienne Miller.


Double Bound

Wasn’t the comparison drawn, perfect
beside the flawed other

a new generation and shame,
am I assumed

exemplary and corrective–
I remember how our childhood felt, blithe and even,

in parallel alignment, didn’t the young girls play,
I can’t account for divergence,

for the pulls of circumstance, stripping you naked
I am left clothed, but burdened by your nudity

when was I shrouded by this illusion, when did I first feel
the necessity to retain dignity for us both

how we differ doesn’t alter our common germ–

do I have to masquerade,
is it my responsibility to redeem

can I live rightly enough?


About her poetry, Dingmann says: “A poet chooses not only her words, but where to put them on the page. New undertones bloom with a simple line break or an unconventional bit of punctuation. But then, a reader always turns up a new meaning, a new analysis that surprises even the poet. All the poetic precision in the world can’t hold back a poem from taking unexpected flight.” 

About the author: Elizabeth Dingmann writes fiction and poetry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of Saint Benedict. Elizabeth’s work has been published in Studio One and Among Women. She currently lives and writes in Saint Paul, where she is working on her first novel.

______________________________________________________ is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation

Membership on is FREE. Find step-by-step instructions for how to join and how to use the free resources available on the site. If you need assistance, contact Will Lager at Any Minnesota resident is eligible to participate in’s mnLIT competitions for poetry and fiction; there are no entry fees, and writers at all levels of skill and experience are welcome to enter work for consideration by a revolving panel of established authors and publishing professionals in mnLIT’s blind adjudication process.