All Things Diode


Vandana Khanna, The Goddess Monologues

Vandana Khanna's first collection, Train to Agra, won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize and her second collection, Afternoon Masala, was the co-winner of the 2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in the New England Review, The Missouri Review, 32 Poems and Prairie Schooner as well as the anthologies Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation and Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry.

Poems from The Goddess Monologues

Vandana Khanna’s work reminds me why we read poetry. These poems in the voices of Hindu goddesses speak with authority and clarity to what it means to be human, to our desires and our disappointments, to the multiple deaths and rebirths we experience in a lifetime. Blas Falconer __________________ The imaginative language and elegant lines found in the poems of The Goddess Monologues propel the reader to carefully and fully examine their own thumping hearts. Behind these beautiful and tightly controlled personas, Khanna deftly steers us through a rich landscape where the voiceless can finally be heard “…raw and rustling like sugar cane,” and where the night fills “with the tight snap of bow, the hollow whistle of arrows on fire.” Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Congratulations to Diode Editions author Kai Carlson-Wee. His first full-length collection, Rail, is now available for pre-order from BOA Editions.

Pre-Order Rail

Set against a landscape of rail yards and skate parks, Kai Carlson-Wee’s debut collection captures a spiritual journey of wanderlust, depression, brotherhood, and survival. These poems—a “verse novella” in documentary form—build momentum as they travel across the stark landscapes of the American West: hopping trains through dusty prairie towns, swapping stories with mystics and outlaws, skirting the edges of mountains and ridges, heading ever westward to find meaning in the remnants of a ruined Romantic ideal. Part cowboy poet, part prophet, Carlson-Wee finds beauty in the grit and kinship among strangers along the road.

From "Where the Feeling Deserts Us"

I pull up the blanket to cover my bare arms. Cool air filled with the pressures of falling dew. This is the best I can give for a reason—the metal accepts you, whoever you are. The train you are riding will only go forward. The straight line is perfectly clear.


“Rail is a lovely book, strong and inspired.” —Robert Bly

“This is a wholly unique and powerful collection of poems. The sense of purpose puts one in mind of Whitman’s ‘Song of the Open Road.’ Encounters with fellow vagabonds recalls the tramp-poetry of Vachel Lindsay. But the darker need to search for meaning in the American plains and points farther west—a vastness forlorn and almost unknowable—belongs to the particular vision of this poet. His journey through our national ambiguity discovers a flicker in our roots, a spark popping from obscurity that rises into the heavens. The lived experience behind these deft and subtle poems seems necessary, and reiterates the fact that resilience is not only a feature of the American character, it is a recurring tenet of American art.” —Maurice Manning

“Brotherly love, a sense of displacement and lost time, and the deep care that reminds us of our humanity, form the heart of this book. These poems are a scavengers guide, a survivalist manifesto, a reminder of the way our daily experiences can fuel and forge our faith. A hauntingly beautiful and unusual debut.” —Dorianne Laux

“Equal parts dithyramb and lament, the great American bardic tradition celebrates lonesome wandering even as it hungers for enduring communion. Kai Carlson-Wee is a worthy inheritor of its dusty mantle, worn by Whitman and Kerouac before him, and Rail is a moving testament to the territories of freight trains, Minnesota roads, dumpster diving, and brotherhood. ‘The road goes on. With or without us.’ Yes, but how much better to have this unforgettable music to guide the way.” —Campbell McGrath

Coming soon, Adoption, a chapbook of poems by Adam Falkner.

Adam Falkner is a writer, educator and PhD candidate in the English & Education program at Columbia University. His work has appeared in a range of literary and academic journals, and has also been featured on HBO, NPR, BET, NBC, in The New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Director of Special Projects for Urban Word NYC, a nationally acclaimed youth literary arts organization. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools and writer-in-residence at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Adam has toured the United States as a guest artist, speaker and trainer, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He teaches at Vassar College and Columbia University’s Teachers College.

More about Adam Falkner

How can writing change the world? Adam Falkner at TEDxNJIT

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