Hurricane Walk

Diann Blakely

A collection of contemporary poems that conveys both the tender nuances and fraught exigencies of modern life


“Throughout Hurricane Walk, her first collection, Blakely shows herself capable of providing art’s sly double vision, poems offering the equivalent of the word ‘red’ printed in green ink. . . . Hurricane Walk is rich in wit, humor, and irony, from the ingenuous opening line of ‘Planning a Family’ (‘I love and want babies—my husband could have them’) to the subtler, supple metaphors of ‘Goin Good Health.’ Blakely prefers understatement and control, even when describing an attempted rape (‘The Attempt’) or imagining ‘Gauguin in Alaska.’ Her lines lope . . . the effect is that of a song hummed under the poet’s breath. Always stretching her poems in more than one direction, Diann Blakely reveals both ambition and skill.”


Hurricane Walk is Diann Blakely’s first volume of poetry. Originally published in 1992, it was named one of the ten best verse collections published that year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With this collection, Blakely artfully mines the empathic center of each poem, fearlessly crafting an achingly personal portrait of contemporary life and family that is both sweet and razor-sharp.

"What poetry does best and perhaps does most plaintively," Blakely has said, "is to remind us of the absences and losses of the world we currently suffer and revel in. It is very much the language of intimacy.” And this is what her work achieves at its best. Blakley wrings a refined sense of intimacy from her carefully crafted verses, revealing the fragile essence of the female experience and, moreover, of the human condition.

Page count: 72 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $19.95

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Diann Blakely (1954–2014) was a former poetry editor at the Antioch Review and at New World Writing. Blakely was also the author of Cities of Flesh and the Dead, which won Elixir Press's seventh 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.