Saturday, September 16, 2000

Diane Averill

Two of Diane Averill’s books, Branches Doubled Over With Fruit, and Beautiful Obstacles, were finalists for Oregon Book Awards. Beautiful Obstacles was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 1999, she received an Oregon Literary Arts grant in poetry. Diane’s earlier books include the chapbooks Turtle Sky and Ella Featherstone Poems: A Sellwood Sequence.

Diane is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Oregon and was an assistant poetry editor of The Northwest Review. She taught poetry writing for five years in the Talented and Gifted Program for the Portland Public Schools and is currently is a professor of creative writing, poetry and English composition at Clackamas Community College.

Her writing has been included in several compilations, including "From Where We Speak," an anthology of Oregon poets published by Oregon State University, and "Pacific Northwestern Spiritual Poetry," published by Tsunami Inc. She has work in the upcoming anthology of ghazals written by English-speaking people, tentatively called "Ravishing Disunities" published by the University of Massachusetts.

(Ghazals are two-line poems, each stanza standing on its own. Ghazals seldom exceed twelve couplets, averaging seven. The term originated in Iran in the Tenth Century based on a Persian’s verse form and was carried to India in the Twelfth Century by the Moghuls. When Persian gave way to Urdu as the language of poetry and culture in India, the ghazal gained popularity. Although the ghazal deals with the whole spectrum of human experience, its central concern is love. Ghazal is an Arabic word that literally means "talking to women."
Poetry doesn’t have to be serious business. Each of us is a beginner each time we sit down to a blank piece of paper. Keeping this in mind helps us not get stuffy.
-- Diane Averill

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