My friends love free stuff, and for National Poetry Month, I am participating in a giveaway of my favorite stuff, poetry. For the month of April, you can win one of two books here at my site, just by posting a comment. While I hope that my poet and writer colleagues will post, I'd very much like to hear too from old and new friends who don't much read poetry. And to encourage them, I am having an extra drawing each week to give away a broadside (poster) of an individual poem. (Subscribe** or check back tomorrow to see what this week's broadside is.)

Below is a bit on each of the two books and their authors, one by me, The Places We Find Ourselves, and one by my Wom-po friend, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Dream Cabinet, and a poem from each book.

The Places We Find Ourselves, is my third chapbook of poetry, spread across my 30+ years as a poet. During those years, I worked teaching, with the most years, nearly 20, at The University of Findlay, where I started a creative writing program that included a writers series both on campus and in prison. After that, I taught for a decade at Bentley University in suburban Boston, and currently, I am back in my hometown of Canton, teaching sporadically as I help to care for my father. Some places in my book are on the map, such as first poem set in Ohio, and the last set in Massachusetts. (Also there is a wonderful place just outside of Cleveland in the great cover photo by Steve Cagan.) But the book is more about the places in our heart these places leave, as the Irish poet, Seamus Heaney wrote, standing at his mother's grave:

And we all knew one thing by being there
The place we stood around had been emptied
Into us to keep.

Here is the last poem in the book written after I had moved to the East Coast following the death of my sister after being with her in Minnesota during her two year struggle against cancer.

Lynn, Massachusetts

I came to this point three years ago.
Last winter, early morning on the beach,
I heard dog walkers argue how it looked.
One swore a chunk had moved, or a new one, risen.
The other said no, old outcrop: he’d bet a quarter,
staking his claim on Egg Rock’s being
“stable, solid, everlasting,” the way the poets
saw it in the first one hundred fifty years
of Egg Rock poetry now on the net.

Plath must have stared long at it, too,
from south of here in Winthrop, and she
used this site twice as backdrop for a suicide,
seeing a stony godlessness that doesn’t
give or take the riptide, just sits it out.
I can’t weigh in with her certainty or on the walkers’
wager--or Pascal’s. I’d like to know
I could cash in my chips as gamblers do these days
on “Horizon’s Edge” casino cruises pulling into harbor.

Then I view two centuries of online Egg Rock art,
and from the antique paintings, I’d have to say
the rock still looks the same. Oh, I know
the lighthouse keeper’s dog Milo and the near drowned
toddler in Landsmeer’s famous Saved are gone—
or as my friend Marion, who survived cancer says,
say it: are dead—along with swimmers who didn’t survive,
but the rock, I mean, the rock still looks the same.

Art tends to make me feel more hopeful
than life without art would—in fact, sustains me,
but from my second story window this rock itself
could be a new grave, cairn, or egg. Low rider,
close to this earth, it could go under any moment
in a nor’easter or a blast. Lovely loaf in the Atlantic,
it glitters and streams the light’s uncertainty,
all I had before coming here, too.

Shopping in the Harvard Bookstore during the holidays, I saw that Ann Fisher-Wirth's new book, Dream Cabinet was recommended by the staff. It needed no recommendation for me, though, because I had read and loved Ann's chapbook Carta Marina, about which I had written, "Her line endings and sound patterns belie such well-crafted poems that I keep rereading her book, long after the heart is healed, the spring has come, the map has led us home." This newest book has the same careful craft, coupled with Ann's wide range of subjects, from her direct, heart-breaking and joyful family poems to poems that suggest her concern with our relationship to the earth. Those environmental concerns led her to co-edit the recent
Eco-Poetry Anthology. You can find out more about Ann here. And here is a poem from Dream Cabinet, for us all, but especially for those with grown daughters, or, in my case, grown goddaughters:
For I will praise my daughter's beautiful haunches.
Sprawled on the coach, draped over each other,
my daughters make a nest and their babies
play between them. It is late afternoon,
in California: light from the stained glass panel
that hangs in their living room window
pours red and gold and green across their hair,
around their shoulders. The thick curve of hips
and thighs, the lines that are just beginning
to come around their mouths and eyes will linger
in my mind for all the months I do not see them.
And I? Oh body, body. The power that will cast me
like a wad of leaves in the muddy river
is growing in me now. So many years I seemed
unchanging, so many years I ran through life.
Leave a comment here and you will be automatically entered in the Big Poetry Giveaway. I'll draw two names on May 1st and announce the winners shortly after that. No blog needed to enter, just an email and a note! I will print each out, drop them all into my big Cow Jumping Over the Moon cookie jar, from which I will pull two names on May 1st and announce the winners shortly after that. I will mail the books to the winners, free, no postage, no catch.

Interested in more poetry give aways? Check out the lot of them here:

**To Subscribe, go to the very bottom of this page, and click on Subscribe to Posts.


  1. I tried this once, it didn't work. I told her I would try it again, what could it hurt?


  2. I'm in--and I promise not to stuff the ballot box (er, cookie jar).

  3. Thanks for joining us; love your choices!

    1. Thanks for curating this, Susan. I checked in on ALL the sites the past two days, and that's a lot of work on your part!

  4. Hi there! I'm in, too, please, Diane! Both books sound wonderful!
    I'm dkh at olympus dot forgot to leave your contact info on my blog. Please do. And thanks for your kind words and the visit to Woman of a Certain Age.

  5. I can't believe you have three books out and I only have one of them. Is there any chance I could send you a check and have you sign and then send me copies of the two which came after _A Tunnel of Flute Song_?

    1. Kevin, sure. I'll get back atcha by email.

    2. That's great, Diane. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for coming by, Diane. I enjoyed Egg Rock!

  7. Thank you , Diane! Sign me up!