December Reading List


Chapbook Poetry

Returning to Jaffa

Philip Metres

$12 / 36pp / March 2019 / 978-1939728258

“Philip Metres’s recent chapbook Returning to Jaffa deploys first-hand testimony, military leaflets, vintage postcards, and photographs to probe the wound of the Nakba—the dispossession of the Palestinian homeland in 1948—and the fate of one of the region’s most populous cities. It traces the blind socket into which Jaffa’s municipal archives, containing vital property and business records, unaccountably disappeared, leaving Arab residents with no way to substantiate claims on their former lives—an evidentiary void that resonates at the heart of the work.”

— Ian Demsky for Kenyon Review, 2020



Hazem Fahmy

$12 / 36pp / March 2018 / 978-1939728180

Red//Jild//Prayer seeks an “ethnic and gender identity located in the sublime.”


"Fahmy...taps into a long tradition of homosexual poetry which seeks gender authenticity beyond the material: think Cernuda, think Lorca. Fahmy’s torment is layered and complex for he seeks to repossess the image of his body from the forces of ideological tyranny so that he can paradoxically sacralise his body as holy and indomitable through the power of love."


— Helen Wing for Sukoon, 2020


Full-Length Poetry

We Call Them Beautiful

KC Trommer

$18 / 84pp / March 2019 / 978-1939728296

KC Trommer's first poetry collection We Call Them Beautiful is "inhabited, art-informed, and artful.”

— Scott Hightower, Five Points, 2020

"We Call Them Beautiful was published in 2019, and it pulls off that magic trick of the best poetry: feeling as though it were written this morning, whatever morning it is when you are reading it."

— Amorak Huey, Ecotheo Review, 2020



Ricky Ray

$18 / 136pp / March 2019 / 978-1939728319

Ricky Ray's debut collection Fealty explores "the importance of the natural world and humanity’s attempts to live up to this world’s majesty.”


"As far as beginnings go, this collection is certainly an auspicious one. Ray is adept at a range of styles and forms—lyric, narrative, persona, and prose poems, alike—and has found subject matter that can sustain him for the length of his career, if he so chooses. As the speaker of the opening poem, 'What These Senses Can Do,' explains, 'I, for one, / am still learning / what these senses can do' (lines 16-18)."


— Matthew Duffus, Valparaiso Review, 2020


From Diode Poetry Journal 13.3

Diode Poetry Journal 13.3 is now live!

Follow the link below to the full issue.

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"Nostalgia Is The Prettiest Liar"

Gaia Rajan

Diode Poetry Journal 13.3

I sit in the dark and watch a white woman cosplay 1930. She says/ it must’ve been simpler back then, incants it with the air/ of a prayer, smiles and snaps white gloves on.

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"Lines Speak to Each Other"

Laura Van Prooyen

Diode Poetry Journal 13.3

What might have started as an idea
has become celery, muscled and sliced.

Too much screen time can be undone
by soup or dirt, but our fingers are so busy

swiping, slicing ginormous rain clouds
into pixeled ether. Don’t bother. Deep sigh


From Diode Poetry Journal 13.2
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"The History of My Body"

Dara Yen Elerath

Diode Poetry Journal 13.2

See how placid
the painted eyes, how
her hands lie perfected,
prayerful in her lap—
is this not something
to be admired?

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"The Secular Among Us"

Jared Harél

Diode Poetry Journal 13.2

Why I vanish over breakfast–
eggs and bacon–or later

beneath the sci-fi of stars

is difficult to say.


More From Diode Poets

Sally Rosen Kindred, author of Where the Wolf (Diode Editions, 2021) is reading Catherine Pierce’s Danger Days (Saturnalia Books, 2020).


Below, read four poems from Danger Days, previously published in Diode Poetry Journal.


Danger Days

Catherine Pierce

Saturnalia Books, 2020

The poems in Catherine Pierce's new Danger Days celebrate our planet while also bearing witness to its collapse. In poems steeped deep in the 21st century, Pierce weaves superblooms and Legos, gun violence and ghosts, glaciers and contaminant masks, urging us to look closely at both the horror and beauty of our world. As Pierce writes in "Planet," "I'm trying to see this place even as I'm walking through it."

"Love Poem with Planetary Wonders and Loose Definition"

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Catherine Pierce

from Danger Days, originally published in Diode Poetry Journal 12.3

Once we walked barefoot through the surf at just-past-twilight, the sky slipping toward navy. The moon, impassive and pink-tinted, glinted off the water. The strawberry moon, named for June’s ripening fruits but clearly committing to its name. The cool air alchemized the foam around our ankles to something warmer, softer. Beneath our feet, sand shifted; in the ocean beside us, unseen dolphins dove, caught fish, slept with their gentle eyes open.

"Let Me Try to Explain My Nights"

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Catherine Pierce

from Danger Days, originally published in Diode Poetry Journal 12.3

If you can imagine the clatter
when the bone china shelf collapses,
or the world-rekiltering when the parakeet

you thought was mute yellow sweetness
starts screaming obscenities in a sailor voice,
then you can imagine how I feel

"Let someone say you are electric"

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Catherine Pierce

from Danger Days, originally published in Diode Poetry Journal 9.2

Let someone say you are electric

and you become electric, an eel
in the best possible way, flicking light
and sharp static wherever you toss
your tail. The whole room spins

"Exhausted with a Three-Week-Old, I Make a Quilt of My Near-Hallucinations"

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Catherine Pierce

from Danger Days, originally published in Diode Poetry Journal 9.2

A bee bumping softly against the closed window
I stitch to a memory of racetrack cheers
and loudspeaker crackles