Erin Dorney (Poetry) | Lancaster, PA
Erin Dorney is the author of I Am Not Famous Anymore: Poems after Shia LaBeouf (Mason Jar Press), a collection of erasure poems sourced from interviews with Shia LaBeouf. Erin’s writing has been featured in Day One, Passages North, Bone Bouquet, Juked, Hobart, Paper Darts, The Found Poetry Review, The Pinch, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Birdfeast, among other publications. She is the recipient of a 2017 Artist Career Development Grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council/McKnight Foundation; a 2017 Emerging Artist Residency at Tofte Lake Center; a 2016 Spruceton Inn Artist Residency; and was the first Modern Worker: Writer in Residence at Modern Art in Lancaster, PA. Her literary erasure art was featured during the summer of 2017 as part of Made Here: Future, an urban walking gallery in the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District.
Erin is one half of FEAR NO LIT, curator of the “From the Desk of…” series at Real Pants, former poetry editor for Third Point Press, founder emeritus of The Triangle, and a former assistant professor and outreach librarian. Since 2014 she has been a volunteer with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.
Erin grew up outside of Rochester, NY and graduated from St. John Fisher College. She received a MSLIS from Syracuse University and a MA in Creative Writing from West Chester University. She has led writing workshops in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New York.
Blurbs, Press, & Reviews
“When at its best, the art of the erasure is not the simple removal of language, but the work of finding the threads resting underneath what already exists. In I Am Not Famous Anymore, Erin Dorney is both puzzle-maker and puzzle-solver, chipping away at Shia LaBeouf and making something newer, and more glistening. What will most stun you is the arrangement of language that was already there: “I was folded / I was made to hold things / and on the way home / he cut me.” This book is so immersive and so transformative in its ambition that one will forget that they are reading the words someone else once spoke into the air. And I suppose that is the trick, isn’t it? To make a reader care about that which they didn’t care about before. This book left me invested in ways I didn’t imagine. And that is the highest compliment I can pay.”
— Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us
“I Am Not Famous Anymore is strange and surreal while simultaneously being tragic and hilarious. Perfect.”
— Chelsea Martin, author of Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow Life
“Creating poetry via erasure is a balancing act, requiring the author to balance forces of voice, subject and style against those of the original text. In I Am Not Famous Anymore, Erin Dorney achieves a rare equilibrium, surfacing poems that are at once recognizable to those of us familiar with entertainment news and uniquely her own. The book acts a fulcrum on which Dorney deftly balances the celebrity against the plebeian, the body against its interior life, and our public presentations against our private selves. In doing so, she admirably demonstrates how we can both lie in the bed we made for ourselves while aspiring to something beyond.”
— Jenni B. Baker, co-founder of Container
“Erin Dorney’s I Am Not Famous Anymore is a blue-ribbon lesson in how to do celebrity studies.”
— Lara Mimosa Montes, author of The Somnambulist
“In I Am Not Famous Anymore, which shares a title with Shia LaBeouf’s own performance piece, the actor’s musings are distilled and repurposed through poet Erin Dorney’s own aesthetic lens. As LaBeouf’s meta-modern sensibilities have rendered him tabloid fodder at times, one imagines he’d appreciate Dorney’s nuanced, ironic, and moving interventions. Here, the private becomes public becomes private becomes public again, culminating in the “fifth iteration / of a chance to believe.””
— Dora Malech author of Stet: Poems (Princeton University Press, 2018)
“I read each of these poems at least twice, once purely on its own poetic terms and once again through the voice of Shia, curious after the original context, what Erin cut, just generally what Shia is doing now. And many of them I kept reading, going back and forth between these two readings, kind of hypnotized by them, by Shia, by what Erin has done to make each feel like a unique little puzzlebox of a poem.”
— Aaron Burch, Editor-in-chief of Hobart