Diane Shipley DeCillis is a friend, artist, entrepreneur, writer, and a creative force of energy unlike any other I’ve known. Every time I see her, she’s doing something new, from taking workshops in stand-up comedy to food writing. Her latest accomplishment is a stunning, full length book of poetry from Wayne State University Press titled STRINGS ATTACHED.
Diane was recently featured by Wayne State University Press in a book release party honoring the Made In Michigan Writers Series. It was a fantastic evening of performance art and literature featuring steel drum music, puppets, video and acting. The highlight of the evening for me was Diane, who read selections from STRINGS ATTACHED. Her reading was accompanied by artistic puppeteer, Jackie Stretz and Nicholas Pobutsky. The puppetry was fitting for a “powerful, funny, and sometimes self-deprecating collection that considers all the ways strings bind us in relationships and explores their constant tightening and loosening. Although we may never sever the strings attached to our wounds, DeCillis shows that when given enough slack we can create the illusion of having been set free.” (from Wayne State University Press). Diane’s poems and the puppetry was performance art at its finest.
About STRINGS ATTACHED, Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Transfer and Fuel, says Diane DeCillis writes savory poems that make us homesick in multiple ways—for the mysterious people we are connected to, rooms we stayed in too briefly, moments which did or didn’t quite click, art and dreaming, and plates on the table. A reader feels more ‘anchored to the soil of home’ and linked to all time, visionary past, forward horizon. These wonderful poems have their own needles and threads built right into them and the warmth of deepest care.
Diane’s poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and Best American Poetry. She was awarded the Crucible Poetry Prize and Ocean Prize, and won the MacGuffin National Poet Hunt. She is the author of a full-length poetry book, STRINGS ATTACHED by Wayne State University Press. Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared in CALYX, Evansville Review, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut Review, Gastronomica, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, Gargoyle, A Gathering Of Tribes, Rattle, Slipstream, The Southern Indiana Review, The William And Mary Review, and numerous other journals. She is coeditor of Mona Poetica (Mayapple Press), an anthology dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Her website is dianedecillis.com