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Diane Wakoski

1937- , Whittier , CA , United States
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Diane Wakoski
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On August 3, 1937, Diane Wakoski was born in Whittier, California.

She received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied with Thom Gunn, Josephine Miles, and Tom Parkinson.

She has published more than forty collections of poems, including the four books that constitute her series "The Archaeology of Movies and Books": Argonaut Rose (1998), The Emerald City of Las Vegas (1995), Jason the Sailor (1993), and Medea the Sorceress (1991), all published by Black Sparrow Press; Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987 (1988), which won the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award; and The Collected Greed, Parts 1-13 (1984). Her most recent collection is Lady of Light (Anginga Press, 2018). She has also published four books of essays: Toward a New Poetry (1979), Variations on a Theme (1976), Creating a Personal Mythology (1975), and Form Is an Extension of Content (1972).

Her honors include a Fulbright fellowship, a Michigan Arts Foundation award, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Michigan Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Diane Wakoski lives in East Lansing, Michigan, where, since 1975, she taught at Michigan State University until her recent retirement as a University Distinguished Professor.

by this poet


My sister in her well-tailored silk blouse hands me 
the photo of my father 
in naval uniform and white hat. 
I say, “Oh, this is the one which Mama used to have on her dresser.” 

My sister controls her face and furtively looks at my


Loudell, in a loose cotton dress
            the color of delphiniums,
                        her hair, owl-feathered and quiet
as her naked toes in their pale sandals
             is a friend from this harvest part
                         of our lives,
a Minerva woman