Rikki Ducornet

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Rikki Ducornet
Born Erica DeGre
(1943-04-19) April 19, 1943 (age 73)
Canton, New York
Occupation Novelist, poet, illustrator
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Bard College
Period 1984–present
Subject Sexuality, religion
Literary movement Surrealism, postmodernism
Spouse Guy Ducornet; Jonathan Cohen

Rikki Ducornet (/ˈrɪki dkɔːrˈn/; born Erica DeGre,[citation needed] April 19, 1943 in Canton, New York) is an American writer, poet, and artist.


Ducornet's father was a professor of sociology, and her mother hosted community-interest programs on radio and television. Ducornet grew up on the campus of Bard College in New York, earning a B.A. in Fine Arts from the same institution in 1964.[1] While at Bard she met Robert Coover and Robert Kelly, two authors who shared Ducornet's fascination with metamorphosis and provided early models of how fiction might express this interest. In 1972 she moved to the Loire Valley in France with her then husband, Guy Ducornet. In 1988 she won a Bunting Institute fellowship at Radcliffe. In 1989 she moved back to North America after accepting a teaching position in the English Department at The University of Denver. In 2007, she replaced retired Dr. Ernest Gaines as Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.[2] In 2008, The American Academy of Arts and Letters conferred upon her one of the eight annual Academy Awards presented to writers.

In the March 24, 2006 issue of Entertainment Weekly, in an article titled "Back To Annandale", it was postulated that Ducornet was the apparent inspiration for the 1974 Steely Dan hit "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", because of a friendship songwriter Donald Fagen had with Ducornet while he attended Bard. Ducornet was pregnant and married at the time, but recalls Fagen did give her his phone number at a college party while attending Bard. Although Fagen himself would not confirm the story, Ducornet was quoted that she believed she was indeed the subject of the song.[3]


Short fiction collections
  • The Butcher's Tales (1980)
  • The Complete Butcher's Tales (1994)
  • The Word 'Desire' (1997)
  • The One Marvelous Thing (2008)
Anthologies edited
Children's books


  1. ^ Ducornet, "Class of '64," in Rikki Ducornet, ed. G. N. Forester and M. J. Nicholls (Singapore: Verbivoracious Press, 2015), p. 85
  2. ^ Gregory, Sindra. "Finding a Language: Introducing Rikki Ducornet" The Review of Contemporary Fiction Fall 1998.
  3. ^ The origins of Steely Dan | Donald Fagen | Pop Culture News | News | Entertainment Weekly See also Steven Moore's interview with Ducornet in the Bloomsbury Review (January/February 1998), which concludes with Ducornet's account of the song: "I knew Donald Fagan at Bard. He was wildly gifted. He gave me a phone number which I never used and I guess I lost! Philosophically it's an interesting song; I mean I think his 'number' is a cipher for the self" (p. 12).
  4. ^ Horse, Flower, Bird on Amazon.com

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