"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 and sensuality. Memorably and beautifully she shows how they intersect and how loss is blessed by the wayward, sensory world. This is poetry of strength and passion whose abiding note is a deep delicacy."
-Baron Wormser, Poet Laureate of Maine
"An Eastern Orthodox priest-monk on Mount Athos in Greece once said about the blessed Athonite Elder, Father Ephriam of Katounakia monastery: 'When I was ordained a deacon, I went to take Elder Ephriam's blessing. I remember that he said a fiery impromptu prayer that encompassed all the meaning and depth of patristic theology. It was then that I understood that theology isn't acquired with diplomas, but wells up from the pure life experiences of genuine repentance.'
"Dianalee Velie's Glass House is filled with fiery poems what well up from the experience of genuine repentance - not the false repentance of sad-faced self-absorption but the real thing: joyous and transformative in their openness to all and to everyone."
-Donald Sheehan, Director, The Frosted Place, Franconia, New Hampshire
"Dianalee Velie's well-crafted poetry (and fiction) have blessed American readers with an intense range of emotions, from humor to pathos, for over a decade. Her poetry has now come together in a new way, with the publication of her first collection, Glass House.
"Reading Glass House is akin to getting reacquainted with old friends while meeting some new ones. Many of the 48 poems first appeared in American literary magazines, and now take new shape in the context of book publication - showcasing Dianalee's diversity of subject matter as well as her writing talent.
"I am sure many literary magazine publishers would agree that Glass House is a welcome and long-overdue first collection from a fresh and vibrant voice in American letters. Readers will find much to savor in this volume."
-David Messineo, Publisher/ Executive Editor, Sensations Magazine
Advice to My Cat Who Would Be a Poet
Why do you stalk my mouse at the precise moment
the muse descends, then delicately trip over random
keys until a long line of feline poetry spreads before
my eyes? If you want to be a poet, let me offer you
some advice. Dig deep for the dirt, getting to the root
of your poem, you know, like you did in the potted
gardenia on the dining room table, then claw unrelentingly
until you reveal the pure white ethereal stuff inside.
Remember my once-beautiful, green-floral sofa? Yield
to the desire of the poem as if it were fresh chopped shrimp,
and then just stretch, belly up, bare and exposed, letting
it pour over you like satin straws of summer sunshine
filled with warm, wet cream. Aaaah, that's nice, warm, wet cream.
Do not be afraid of words or stifled by political correctness.
Call your sister a sweet little pussy, for she truly really is
and don't ever forget your mother was a big, fat Maine Coon,
who never thought of herself as calorically challenged.
Never try to write like a dog. Oh, you may borrow
the alliteration of his rough, rugged bark or occasionally
use the sweet, singing soliloquy of the canary, but remember
always, you are a cat with your own cunning vision
of the world. Above all else, study those tenacious
Toms who placed their paws in print before you; those
who howled on hot tin roofs, or fiddled while they saw
cows jumping over the moon, or sang sonnets to kings,
after dressing up in boots of long, black, shiny leather.
Alas, my sweet Merlin, Midnight comes, and we must seek Magic.
- a selection from Glass House, published 2004