Dori Appel Playwright and Poet 



A Rude AwakeingDori Appel's book of poems, Another Rude Awakening, is published by Cherry Grove Collections.

Her poetry has also been featured in many journals, magazines, and anthologies, including six collections published by Papier Mache Press. Among these are When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple and The Best Is Yet To Be, the audio recording of which was a 1997 Grammy finalist. A playwright as well as a poet, her work has been widely produced throughout the United States, as well as internationally. Her monologues are featured in several anthologies, and three full length plays are published by Samuel French. Working between the two genres, her poems sometimes become monologues or scenes in dramatic works. The recipient of several regional and national playwriting awards, she was the winner of the prestigious Oregon Book Award in Drama in 1998 for Freud’s Girls, in 1999 for The Lunatic Within, and in 2001 for Lost and Found. Her play, Hat Tricks, is currently a finalist for the 2008 O.B.A. in Drama.

"Dori Appel writes poems as if she were 'a shipwreck's last survivor,' commemorating and rejuvenating the past, illuminating overlooked details, and inspiring us to take heart, bear fearless witness, and truthfully, all-inclusively share the experiences that shape and define our diverse, spirited journeys. Every subject is so surehandedly yet tenderly addressed, every rhyme, cadence, and word are so-perfect! There's no other word for it. Dori Appel understands as few do that we all inhabit the spaces between, 'when we are nameless and infinite.' Her poems in Another Rude Awakening help me to see the people and things of this world as Fellow Travelers who are all actively holding up an edge of the tent." —Robert McDowell

ISBN-13: 978-1934999233, 128 pages, $19.00

Another Rude Awakening may be purchased from:

Cherry Grove Collections:

Amazon Books

Barnes and Noble

Powell's Books


or your local bookstore.


A Double Life

A girl who loved horses thought
she was a horse. Her brown shoes
that laced were her hooves,
her neck, not long, became long
when she thought about who she was.
She told no one. When they called
her for supper she came at an
obedient trot and tucked her napkin
just above the place where
the martingale had left its mark.
When they took her places she walked
properly and answered courteously,
and thought about the sweet grass
in the field where she greeted
the morning, and the moonlight in
the meadow where she ran at night.
The morning was gold and
the night was silver, and only she
in all the world was awake to its
secret sounds and shadows,
her hooves bright as stars, her
long neck arcing towards the moon.

My Mother's Eyesight

The lights do not go out at once.
First there is the long groping dusk
that can last for years,
muting colors, narrowing the view.
Now it takes something with
the verve and flash of
a parrot's wing to catch her eye.

The long pathway to the night
is lined with obstacles- leafy shapes
that dance and waver at her feet.
She squints, testing distance with
a careful step, and sometimes,
looking out the car's wide window
at the boulevard, she'll ask,
"Are we in the underpass?"

Only the window to the past is clear.
Through it she sees herself
at twenty-two, greeting my father in
her parents' entryway. As she takes
his coat and muffler,
still flecked with February snow,
an image forms behind her eyes,
enduring as a photograph:
His hands and hers,
meeting over cloth.

Dori's Poetry on YouTube

My Grandmother's Education.

The Future.

When You Got Top Billing.