Grant Recipients Cy Twombly Award for Poetry Poetry 2023

Kyle Dacuyan

Photo by Tess Mayer.
  • 2023 Cy Twombly Award for Poetry
  • Poetry
  • Poet, Performer
  • Born 1989, Sterling, VA
  • Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Additional Information

Artist Statement

I write poetry and monologues, improvise within scores of movement, and present this material together in the space of performance because I believe these methods can incite other possible ways of being together. I am writing what feels physically good to me to write and speak. I embrace accident, surprise, instinct, and pleasure as deliberately unmanageable states of being in the writing and making of poems and performance, and as strategies that resist decorum, orderliness, and sometimes legibility. I do not think of my creative practice in terms of “about”—though I do find that related constellations continue to appear. How do systems of labor and value inform our senses of self and differentiation? How do borders uphold systems of producing and consuming? Who is cast into positions of opportunity and influence, and who into positions of service, and who into liminal, immiserated, invisibilized positions? How do our different spheres of work and community shape the language we receive and circulate? I ask what words and gestures can do when we free ourselves of the expectation to prove function and demonstrate worth. When we learn in speech and body to unburden ourselves of these weights, I believe that we can more radically recognize, sustain, and care for one another.

- December 2022


Kyle Dacuyan is a poet and performer writing about work, the ways that work bears upon writing, where writing begins (in voice), where voice begins (in body), and how the body can be something more than a working body. His poems draw from a breadth of working word circumstances and matter: the sedimentary effects of labor and value on idiom, syntax, etymology, advertisement, law, embodiment, and ecology.

Dacuyan is the author of Incitements (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023). The book draws unruly attention to pleasure and embodiment as modes of counter-possibility, testing what speech can do and be when we leave function behind. Incitements asks: How do forces of profit limit our sense of the civic and the self? How do borders maintain hierarchies of leisure and production? In what way do the channels of information we receive and circulate uphold fictions of value?

Dacuyan’s poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, Lambda Literary, The Offing, Social Text, and elsewhere. His performance works include Legal Tender, devised and presented with Andalyn Young and Antigravity Performance Project at Ars Nova, New York, NY (2019) and FringeArts, Philadelphia, PA (2020). As a 2023–2024 Open Call artist, he will present Dad Rock at The Shed, New York, NY (2024).

Dacuyan has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing (2021), a Jerome Foundation Artist Fellowship Finalist Award (2021), and a Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship (2017).

He holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. Dacuyan is the Executive Director of The Poetry Project.

“Grant application” from INCITEMENTS, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023.

“Compassion” from INCITEMENTS, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023.

Reading of “Christmas,” at The Poetry Project, New York, 2023.