All Things Diode


Updated: Mar 11

Conor Bracken's debut full-length collection The Enemy of My Enemy Is Me is now available for preorder from Diode Editions.

In his debut collection of poems, Conor Bracken traces the nerves of toxic masculinity—white as maggots but taut as lyre strings—that twitch and fizz inside events as homegrown as school shootings and as distant as the execution of medieval French heretics. Everywhere, though, there are bodies: the stout slouch of Henry Kissinger in a towel, a headless snake writhing in a footwell, a cantor with a beautiful voice and an inexorable need to be touched. And then there’s the body of our speaker: “white and alive and in love” and damaged by the same ravenous appetites he isn’t always able to curb. There is no hero here, only a song that turns towards and away from reckoning with the costs the neo-imperial world order extracts from bodies both supine and thrashing. These poems flicker like fire and billow like night’s velvet curtain, which you can “roughen with one hand / and smooth with the other.”

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Publication Date: June 15, 2021

Preorders Ship: June 10, 2021*

*Preorder package tracking information to be provided on June 10, 2021.

Praise for The Enemy of My Enemy Is Me

"Not since Rachel Loden's The Richard Nixon Snow Globe has there been such a paradoxically moving and satirical portrait of the sad dicks of Republicanism. Conor Bracken tangos with Nixon cabinet member Henry Kissinger the way Che Guevara tangoed with Eva Peron in Evita, a dance of fascination, danger, sadness. It's poetry that cuts to the heart of America's sado-masochistic relationship with power, especially extreme and violent power: guns, machetes, pipe bombs...the discharge of bullets that dribble down the front of America's pants. 'Around me fathers and offspring/as plain as stop signs give/each other tips while they reload.' 'The body a little bomb/that pleasure sometimes lights.' Every word a small explosion. All the terror of this forbidden dance wrapped inside the chilling fact of a school shooting; itself wrapped in the history of massacres both internal and external to a country that 'destroys another country on tv' as a national pastime, blood-letting for ratings. In the aftermath of a string of gun-friendly presidents—not just Donald Trump and all his enablers, but every war-mongering precursor and follower—we are invited to search deeply within our culture for the roots of that thirst for bodies laid waste. A complicated, mesmerizing meditation on one very visible symptom of the sickness at the heart of a nation."

—D.A. Powell, author of Repast: Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails

"A greater challenge than using the poem to dissect the fragility of a place, a nation, or a history, is using the poem to dissect oneself. One's role within the ecosystems they operate in. It is difficult to do this both thoughtfully and tenderly, but thankfully, Conor Bracken has arrived at that balance with this book. It is vulnerable and visceral, honest, and at times funny. But, more than anything, it is immensely generous."

—Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

“In Conor Bracken’s, The Enemy of My Enemy is Me, inherited violence wrestles like worms within the white male speaker’s identity. Through a ‘damaged villanelle’ and other disruptions of form, Bracken works to convey the intrusions of history—a voice stepping through the speaker’s voice—but also the access that histories of colonization have afforded him. This collection is skeptical of its own attempts to unpack complicity; it never suggests that those efforts are without flaw, or that any person coming from privilege should be pardoned because they are ‘trying.’ Instead, Bracken conveys forgiveness as labor: a ‘buzzard in a dove’s beak,’ a machine, an idea forced to thicken inside the survivor’s body.”

—Taneum Bambrick, author of Vantage

About the Author, Conor Bracken

Conor Bracken is the author of Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour (Bull City Press, 2017), selected by Diane Seuss as winner of the fifth annual Frost Place Chapbook Competition, and translator of Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s Scorpionic Sun (CSU Poetry Center, 2019). His poems and translations have earned fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Community of Writers, the Frost Place, Inprint, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. An assistant poetry editor at Four Way Review, he currently teaches English at the University of Findlay, and lives in Ohio with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Click Here to Preorder The Enemy of My Enemy Is Me

Sally Rosen Kindred's third full-length collection Where the Wolf is now available for preorder from Diode Editions.

Sally Rosen Kindred’s third book, Where the Wolf, is a wood where a girl-turned-woman, a daughter-turned-mother, goes walking, searching for the warm fur, the hackles and hurts—past and future—inside her. These poems explore how stories—fairy tales, family memories, myths, and dreams—tell us, and let us tell each other, who we are, and what’s wild and sacred in our connections. From “the beast your mother made/ who scans hood and bed,” to the ghost-guard summoned by a child on the night her family fractures, to the teenage son who transforms into “beauty, his dread-body,” the beings in these poems are themselves stories, spells: alchemized through language, always becoming, bearing hope and loss. They fragment in anxiety, and form into new wilderness. They open themselves to reconstruction, redemption. Through it all, “Wolf is the ghost of a hurt remembering itself. Is She. You can hear Her between trees.” These poems are a calling out—through meadows, emptied houses, dark skies—to wolf and self, parent and child, girl and woman, love and grief.

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Publication Date: June 15, 2021

Preorders Ship: June 10, 2021*

*Preorder package tracking information to be provided on June 10, 2021.

Praise for Where the Wolf

“Both elegy and origin story, Where the Wolf chronicles the darkness that makes and breaks and saves us. Sally Rosen Kindred’s poems, thorned and gorgeous, spin a world of moss and memory, of teeth and grief and asphodel. They examine what it is to have, to lose, to be a mother, and remind us that, even in the deepest woods, “mercy is the motor, spinning this story.” What an astounding book this is.”

—Catherine Pierce, author of Danger Days

“In her magnificent third collection, Where the Wolf, Sally Rosen Kindred pursues, through the twin forests of memory and wisdom, the elusive mystery and myth of family. She casts an especially penetrating gaze at parenthood, looking both ahead and behind, above and below. The forests are dark and haunted by ghosts of the past, the present, and yes, the future, but with clear vision, uncommon courage, and a stunningly empathetic imagination, Kindred leads us inexorably toward the light. So grab this book, reader, and head for the winter trees. You can trust your guide.”

—Dan Albergotti, author of Millennial Teeth

“In Where the Wolf, Sally Rosen Kindred makes and remakes the world with language that’s both savage and tender, a world in which words and their mysteries give us passageways to a second world: that of myth and memory, unseen but not separate from our own. Always there is the specter of grief haunting the edge of the scene. Always the inevitable losses—past selves, the children who are nearly grown now, a mother adrift in dementia. ‘I know now I was something held,’ writes Kindred, and we feel both the care and the hindrance of that embrace in a woman’s life as she navigates middle age. Perhaps most of all, Where the Wolf is a searing elegy for daughterhood, and although we know how this ends every time, still some things hold true despite the losses: ‘I wake hard, a daughter. I break back into my skin.’”

—Molly Spencer, author of Hinge

About the Author, Sally Rosen Kindred

Sally Rosen Kindred is the author of Where the Wolf, a winner of the Diode Editions Book Prize, forthcoming in 2021, Book of Asters (Mayapple Press, 2014) and No Eden (Mayapple Press, 2011). Her chapbooks are Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018), and Darling Hands, Darling Tongue (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She has received two Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council, and her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, and Kenyon Review Online. She teaches writing online for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

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Shanta Lee Gander's first full-length collection Ghettoclaustrophobia is now available for preorder from Diode Editions.

What does it mean to move away from the shadow of one’s mother, parents, or family in order to come into being within this world? As collective memory within the Black diaspora has been ruptured, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA time travels by creating and recapturing memory from a fractured past to survive in the present and envision a future. In her first full-length collection GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, Shanta Lee Gander navigates between formal and vernacular styles to introduce the reader to a myriad of subjects such as scientific facts that link butterflies to female sexuality and vulnerability; whispers of classical Greek myth; H.P. Lovecraft’s fantastical creature, Cthulhu; and the traces of African mythmaking and telling. Beneath the intensity, longing, seeking, wondering, and the ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ voice that sometimes tussles with sadness, there is a movement of sass and a will that refuses to say that it has been broken. Gander leaves a door ajar in this ongoing conversation of the Black female body that walks the spaces of the individual within a collective; the tensions between inherited and hidden narratives; and the present within a history and future that is still being imagined.

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Publication Date: June 15, 2021

Preorders Ship: June 10, 2021*

*Preorder package tracking information to be provided on June 10, 2021.


“Shanta Lee Gander’s debut GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA begins with the mystery and misery of a mama after the umbilicus is cut, accompanies herself and us through what could be called hell (when unspeakable things are done to a child) and also a heaven (dancing with ‘bodies the cola of butta’)—and somehow, as if by miracle, emerges winged, ‘fashioning ourselves from the wreckage.’ Shanta Lee’s poetry rocks and rolls against the hurt world, singing of ‘stars doin time in our cluster spread,’ listening to how ‘some sounds invite eavesdropping to all / the befores.’ In her vernacular dazzle and ancient forms, she's a force of nature and self-nurture, an alchemist mixing hip-hop and ancient gods—transmuting grit, gutter, and grind to gold.”

—Philip Metres, author of Shrapnel Maps

“There are two kinds of giving witness. One reports upon what happened; the other embodies what happened and what continues to happen. Shanta Lee gives the latter, more vital witness. These are not poems that look in from the outside; these are those rare poems, stunningly written, that pull back the veil. These are poems that ask us to answer ‘amen’ to their witness, not just with our voices, but with our humanity.”

—Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences

“In GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, children are fashioned of ‘Cosmic clay, stardust, and obsidian for resilience.’ Of these same ingredients, Shanta Lee Gander has made a fierce, unflinching constellation of poems that throws its light on history when it goes dark and refuses to be measured.”

—Tomás Q. Morín author of Patient Zero and A Larger Country

“Shanta Lee Gander’s debut GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA packs a world of intensity. It is a quest for ‘wherever all things gone missing be,’ most importantly ‘seekin mama’s mama’s mama’s mama,’ where success is both impossible, ‘time sayin, Girl, you didn’t ask,’ and assured, ‘I know all the names of my mothers….’ It is also a quest for what went missing in this life of traumatic family moves and the predatory environment around young women, starting with ‘At 7, my body becomes a playscape’ and ending as ‘somebody’s Pretty Baby.’ Of course, I’m oversimplifying. You have to read the book to get the details and the immense complexity.”

—Michael Ruby, author of The Mouth of the Bay

“Shanta Lee’s poems are adamant and stirring. They have incredible force and intimacy, the sound hit every part of me. ‘Some sounds invite eavesdropping to all / the befores. Before all the gates of / never return, before tongues couldn’t / be trained in what they no longer are’ she writes in the poem ‘Black Book of Creation,’ which mimics the experience of reading this book. This is an incredible book. A complex multiverse of language, nightmares, visions, history, the forgotten, the painful—but also that incredibleness of human resilience and togetherness. In this book there is conversation with both the reader, with history, with family, the very stars themselves. I feel the presence of the mother, the mother’s mothers, and on and on—all the way back to the first mother, the first stardust. And because of that, this is a book I will return to again and again.”

—Bianca Stone, author of Gertrude and The Mobius Strip Club of Grief

“Through ecstatic and courageous acts of remembrance, the poems in Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues preserves and commemorates in golden, and at times, harsh light, the elemental growth of a poet nurtured by women, community, and culture but more by the rituals of language that ‘fashions[s] ourselves’ into wholeness.”

—Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man

“People, listen up, Mama’s got a brand new bag, and in it are all the things you need for spiritual health and wealth. From how to cope with a love of Michael Jackson’s music after his behavior, to Lovecraft’s mythical creature Cthulhu (you go mad if you lock eyes with it) as childhood sexual trauma, to her art for losing things, people and places, and her arts of recovery, Shanta Lee is all out so you better be all in, reader. Shanta Lee sings in an uncompromising register about the life of Black women. Her tone is a match for our mean time. She dispels with niceties for a necessary directness in the face of despotism and indifference to Black suffering. The art in her protest resides in her formal poetry and in her modulated voice. She is historically aware. She follows in a powerful tradition of women poets who have insisted on multiple voices and tones for their work, poets like Maya Angelou and Ntozake Shange, poets whose aesthetics are generated by their ethics, and poets with a penchant and feel for their art as song. Hers is a new voice to reckon with. If we dare ignore it, we do so at our peril and at our loss, and at a cost to our humanity.

—Fred D’Aguiar, author of Letters to America

About the Author, Shanta Lee Gander

Shanta Lee Gander is an artist and multi-faceted professional. Her endeavors include writing and photography with work that has been featured in PRISM, ITERANT Literary Magazine, Palette Poetry, BLAVITY, DAME Magazine, The Crisis Magazine, Rebelle Society, on the Ms. Magazine Blog, and on a former radio segment Ponder This. Shanta Lee’s photojournalism has been featured on Vermont Public Radio ( and her investigative reporting has been in The Commons weekly newspaper covering Windham County, VT. Shanta Lee is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts. Her contributing work on an investigative journalism piece for The Commons received a New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) 2019 award. Shanta Lee gives lectures on the life of Lucy Terry Prince, considered the first known African-American poet in English literature, as a member of the Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and is the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to their board of directors.

Shanta Lee is an MFA candidate in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College. To see more of Shanta Lee’s work, visit