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Danielle Pafunda

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Danielle Pafunda


Danielle Pafunda httpswwwpoetrysocietyorgpsapoetrycrossroad

Writer, poet, professor

Natural History Rape Mu, The Dead Girls Speak in Unison, Manhater, Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies, My Zorba

Danielle Pafunda « VIDA.m4v

Danielle Pafunda is an American writer and poet. Formerly an Assistant Professor for the Department of English at the University of Wyoming, she now lives and works in the Mojave Desert.



  • Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability
  • The American Best Poetry (2004, 2006 & 2007)
  • Gurlesque: The New Grrly, Grotesque, Burlesque Poetics
  • Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child Getting and Child Rearing
  • Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in American Poet, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Fairy Tale Review, Kenyon Review and The Huffington Post.

    Danielle Pafunda has published a number of books including:

  • Pretty Young Thing (2005)
  • My Zorba (2008)
  • Iantrogenic: Their Testimonies (2010)
  • Manhater (2012)
  • Natural History Rape Museum (2013)
  • Pafunda’s poetry has also been collected in The American Best Poetry 2004, 2006, and 2007.

    Poetic style

    Pafunda’s fibromyalgia influences her poetry: “I have always had to, and will always have to, live consciously within the meat of the body, and this meat life influences every fiber of my politics/poetics.” She has no definite style.

    Pafunda uses her poetry to expose the discrimination she faces as a disabled person and as a woman. “In poetry I try to do at least one thing consistently: to attract the gaze, to pin or fix it in place, and then show it those sights which brutalize, horrify, repulse, or shame it.”

    Early life

    A native of upstate New York, she was hospitalized in 1980 with a condition that doctors could not diagnose. She was eventually diagnosed with chronic severe neutropenia by a veterinarian. Neutropenia is a condition in which the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is decreased. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes or PMNs. Neutropenia reduces the body's ability to fight off bacterial infections. Today Pafunda’s disorder is diagnosed as fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia have “tender points” on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.


    Earned a BA in Russian literature and creative writing from Bard College in New York. She earned her MFA in poetry from the New School also located in New York. Pafunda earned her PhD in English Literature from the University of Georgia. Currently she is an associate professor of gender and women’s studies as well as English literature at the University of Wyoming.


    Danielle Pafunda Wikipedia