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"Velie's First Edition is a brave book, doing what it must do, making art out of enormous tragedy, painting over grief with '(t)he lemon yellow paint, called joyous..."

-Maxine Kumin

"These poems are filled with life and all its fragile boundaries. They deal with the paralyzing terror and anger that comes with the unexpected violent loss of those we love. This powerful collection concludes ultimately the only way it can, and must, in the freedom of forgiveness."

-Kevin Pilkington

"Dianalee Velie has been to hell and back. From the first telephone call, 'a cacophony of / horror felt through the black wire,' to the 'long tough trail home,' First Edition chronicles the journey. 'We wondered how music could ever again rise / from this barrenness,' she writes. But it has, in these brave poems illuminated by ice and fire. Describing a world of grief and splendor, First Edition is an extraordinary testament to the power of the human heart to embrace both."

-Ann Lauinger

"In her second book of poetry, First Edition, Dianalee Velie shares her unspeakable tragedy in an elegant outpouring of loss, longing, and hope. She charts a map of grief so intensely personal that, paradoxically, it belongs to each reader uniquely. Like her own tanscendental spirit, she does not leave us in despair, but in a place of emergence. I am reminded of the last stanza of Goethe's poem, The Holy Longing:
And so long as you haven't experienced this: to die and so to grow, you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth. Dianalee is no guest on this dark earth, but a radiant beacon of light illuminating the way for others."

-Rea Martin

"Great poetry, like great cinema, offers us the capacity to live through another person: to gain greater understanding of experiences we haven't had, to empathize with experience we have had, to find elements of ourselves within what is presented to us by another. First Edition succeeds on all levels. Readers who have the courage to take this journey are not only rewarded with well-written poetry, they are rewarded with the important reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit."

-David Messineo

 


EXCERPT

Metanoia

Talismanic rosary in hand.
I watch the breath of morning rise.
Warm mists, drifting upward
from the cold waters of the deep lake,
ascend into heaven. New clouds,
baby clouds form, from water to air,
a mystery unfolding before me.

Wafting east toward Mecca,
aglow with the rising sun,
they become angels with outstretched
wings, joining hands to worship the dawn.
Diminutive dots of dew descend upon
my cheeks, mix with a trace of tears,
uniting me with this celestial scene.

After all our sorrowful wailing,
are we not, after all, mostly water?
Infused with this infinite power
of transformation, my soul billows
with them; we are all one spirit
and performance only a physical illusion.
The full moon still accents the shifting sky,

and day and night are one, until
a dove coos, cracking this scarlet code
of dawn. Then reality returns.
This simply reality: somewhere in a cell
your murderer still breathes, his breath
commingling in the atmosphere with ours,
until all our bodies eventually evaporate,

join as one. This unshakable reflection
acknowledges that these temporary vessels
we call home are merely swells
in an incalculably deep ocean,
so that even through tidal waves of griefs,
we must allow the longest night
to pull us back into the light,

risking forgiveness in search of peace...

- a selection from First Edition - published 2005

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

THE JOHN HAY POETRY SOCIETY
Meets the 2nd Monday of the month.
Newbury Library, Newbury, NH

READINGS
February 26, 2017 - 2:30PM
Del Rossi’s. Dublin, NH

March 25, 2017
Gibsons Book Store, Concord, NH

April 5, 2017 - 4-5PM
Colby Sawyer Library

August 3, 2017 - 5PM
The Fells, Newbury, NH

Learn More

  • Ever After

    Ever After

    "Dianalee's insider view of the classic fairy tales is both droll and shrewd. The poems deliver the lowdown on the stories and characters we all know. The wry perspectives are unique; these versions make much real-life sense." -Baron Wormser "Anyone who wants to be entertained and amused and enjoys unbridled wit should read the poems found here. Here is this gifted poet's take on well-known fairy tales after these much loved stories end. This collection is filled with A-list fairy Read More
  • The Alchemy of Desire

    The Alchemy of Desire

    "The Alchemy of Desire is an ecstatic collection of poems that literally and metaphorically affirms life and the power to heal and connect with the pulse beating of the world. The poems take you on a journey, from the powerful opening poem "In the Beginning" which ends with the couplet: "It will be my masterpiece, It will be my Genesis./ Everyone will know my name." to the final title poem "The Alchemy of Desire", in which "the power of love/reconstructs Read More
  • Sole Proprietorship: Women in Search of Their Souls

    Sole Proprietorship: Women in Search of Their Souls

    "In her wonderful new collection, Soul Proprietorship, Dianalee Velie presents us with a series of stories about the places and events in life that our souls attend, memories that "...await us in every closet." Velie writes of "...nondenominational angels," "spunky dogs", and then wonders how one can find their soul when life revolves around everyone else. Join her "jumping into the leaves... pushing off in a snow saucer." Soulmate with her as she relates tragic tales on abortion, death and Read More
  • The Many Roads to Paradise

    The Many Roads to Paradise

    "In Dianalee Velie's poem, "Primary Colors," an old man, at home in his life, says "Here I am and I know." The Many Roads to Paradise is the record of a poet's tenacious desire, here and now - by way of a dog or a fireplace log or Louis Armstrong's recorded voice or a blue-collar cafeteria worker or a hermit thrush or a dying friend or a woman who is stoned to death - to 'know where God is hiding,' to 'sense Read More
  • First Edition

    First Edition

    "Velie's First Edition is a brave book, doing what it must do, making art out of enormous tragedy, painting over grief with '(t)he lemon yellow paint, called joyous..." -Maxine Kumin "These poems are filled with life and all its fragile boundaries. They deal with the paralyzing terror and anger that comes with the unexpected violent loss of those we love. This powerful collection concludes ultimately the only way it can, and must, in the freedom of forgiveness." -Kevin Pilkington "Dianalee Read More
  • Glass House

    Glass House

    "Dianalee Velie writes with grace and in poem after poem, her voice possesses a tender agility in order to travel those difficult paths that make us all uniquely human. These poems are brave in their lucidity, generous, sensual and intelligent celebrations of what it means to be in the world. Read this collection, it will enhance your life." -Kevin Pilkington, Poet / Professor   "The poetry of Dianalee Velie stands squarely at one of poetry's most ancient and powerful crossroads - spirit Read More
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