Diann Blakely

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Diann Blakely (June 1, 1957 – August 5, 2014) was an American poet, essayist, editor, and critic.[1][2] She taught at Belmont University, Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, led workshops at two Vermont College residencies, and served as senior instructor and the first poet-in-residence at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee.[2] A "Robert Frost Fellow" at Bread Loaf, she was a Dakin Williams Fellow at the Sewanee Writers' Conference at which she had worked earlier as founding coordinator.[2]

Life and work[edit]

Born Harriet Diann Blakely in Anniston, Alabama on June 1, 1957,[3] Blakely graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of the South in 1979,[2] she subsequently received a Master of Arts in literature from Vanderbilt University in 1980 and a Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College in 1989.[2] Her first volume of poetry, Hurricane Walk, was published under the name Diann Blakely Shoaf in 1992.[2] Subsequently, the St. Louis Post Dispatch named it as one of the ten best verse collections published that year.[1] Her second book, Farewell, My Lovelies, published in 2000 and influenced by "noir" shading, was listed as a Choice of the Academy of American Poets' Book Club.[4] Her third volume, Cities of Flesh and the Dead, won Elixir Press's 7th annual publication prize after being distinguished by the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, given for a year's best manuscript-in-progress.[5][6] Anthologized in several volumes, including Best American Poetry 2003 and Pushcart Prize Anthologies XIX and XX,[2] Prior to her death, Blakely was working on two new manuscripts entitled Rain in Our Door: Duets with Robert Johnson and Lost Addresses: New and Selected Poems [1][2][3]

Diann Blakely’s much anticipated Lost Addresses: New & Selected Poems was published by Salmon Poetry in February 2017.

Blakely was a former poetry editor at the Antioch Review and at New World Writing[7] and served on Plath Profiles' board.[8] She contributed essays, poetry, and reviews to that journal and to many other publication, including the Harvard Review, Nashville Scene, Village Voice Media, Pleiades, and Smartish Pace.[2][9]

Blakely died in Brunswick, GA, on August 5, 2014 after complications from a chronic lung disorder. She was 57.[3]


Selected publications[edit]

  • Rain in Our Door: Duets with Robert Johnson (White Pine Press, 2018) [10]
  • Lost Addresses: New & Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2017)
  • Cities of Flesh and the Dead (Elixir Press, 2008)
  • Farewell, My Lovelies (Story Line Press, 2000)
  • Hurricane Walk (BOA Editions, Ltd., 1992)



  • Whatever Remembers Us: An Anthology of Alabama Poetry (Negative Capability Press, 2007)
  • Best American Poets 2003 (Scribner, 2003)
  • Orpheus and Company: Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology (UPNE, 1999)
  • The Movies: Texts, Receptions, Exposures (University of Michigan Press, 1997)
  • Pushcart Prize Anthologies XIX and XX (Pushcart Press, 1996 and 1997)
  • Lights, Camera, Poetry!: American Movie Poems, The First Hundred Years (Mariner Books, 1996)
  • Homewords (University of Tennessee Press, 1986)

Reviews and essays[edit]

Harvard Review[edit]

The Best American Poetry[edit]

New World Writing[edit]

Nashville Scene[edit]

Plath Profiles[edit]


Smartish Pace[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Komunyakaa, Yusef (2003). The Best American Poetry 2003 : Series Editor David Lehman. New York: Scribner. pp. 193–4. ISBN 0-7432-0388-7.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Diann Blakely (b. 1957)". utc.edu. 2010. Archived from the original on August 25, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Harriet Diann Blakely Obituary by The Tennessean". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  4. ^ Lehman, David (2000). The perfect murder: a study in detection. Ann Arbor, Mich: University of Michigan Press. p. 222. ISBN 0-472-08585-9.
  5. ^ Emma Bolden Cities of Flesh and the Dead, Poets' Quarterly, Issue 2 - Winter 2010)
  6. ^ Pablo Tanguay 'Facing the Black-Winged Angel' Archived 2012-09-26 at the Wayback Machine, Nashville Scene October 02, 2008
  7. ^ New World Writing Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  8. ^ Plath Profiles Archived 2013-04-01 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  9. ^ "Diann Blakely." Avatar Review. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  10. ^ "Tribute by Hélène Cardona in The American Journal of Poetry".

External links[edit]