Strings Attached: Poems by Diane DeCillis, Wayne State University Press                   


In Strings Attached, poet Diane DeCillis takes inspiration from the story of the elephant calf with a thin rope tied to its leg. Even when it grows into a massive animal, the elephant thinks the same string still restrains it and never attempts to break free. This powerful, funny, and sometimes self-deprecating collection considers all the ways that strings bind us in relationships and explores their constant tightening and loosening. Although we may never sever the strings attached to our wounds, DeCillis shows that when given enough slack we can create the illusion of having been set free.

The poems in Strings Attached consider tension in a variety of relationships. The short string of an American girl raised in Detroit by a resentful Lebanese grandmother whose culture values boys over girls. The attachment to a strong mother who exemplifies feminism but who is mostly absent in order to support the family. The cosmopolitan father who abandons but captivates, and the strings of relationships with older men, built on longing for the missing father. The long strings of a secret life that teach you to be distant. The strings that cuff you to your home, and the triumph of loosening them after years of agoraphobia. The frayed strings that come from being too American in a Lebanese culture. The strings of food and tradition that connect to family and friends.

DeCillis’s verse reflects an insistent search for identity and the happy discovery that outsider status can be a good thing, a kind of earned badge that provides new ways of seeing. All poetry readers will relate to the personal and perceptive verse of this debut collection.

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Strings Attached Named 2015 Michigan Notable Book

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Diane’s poem “To Lean” read by Garrison Keillor on his Writers Almanac

Interview on Michigan Public Radio



Mona Poetica, Diane DeCillis (Editor) and Mary Jo Firth Gillett (Editor), Mayapple Press

Mona Poetica

The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the history of art. It continues to inspire reproduction, parody and countless theories. We see facsimiles of it everywhere: on buildings and mugs, on computer ads, in cartoons. In honor of her 500th birthday, 2003-2006, Mona Poetica celebrates not only the painting but also inspiration and creativity. This rich and varied anthology includes work by: Stephen Dunn, Grace Bauer, William Blake, Edward Hirsch, Natasha Saje and many others.

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TafaddaluTaffadalu by Diane Shipley DeCillis

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Taffadalu is an Arabic word that invites you to the table for a meal. It means welcome, sit down, join us. This cookbook of family recipes was dictated to the author by her grandmother.  It contains popular recipes  from hummus and tabbouli, to Lebanese Anise tea to cure a cold, along with modern Lebanese phrases and traditional customs.





Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory, Sean Miller (Editor, Contributor) and Shveta Verma (Editor), Scriblerus Press

Riffing on Strings

Riffing on Strings is a unique collection of creative writing that explores the cosmic and cultural resonances of string theory. Inside you’ll find thought-provoking essays, short stories, poems, and a play from over 40 acclaimed authors, including Nobel Laureate Sheldon Glashow, Michio Kaku, Peter Woit, Adam Roberts, Colette Inez, Brenda Hillman, Joseph Radke, Bruce Holland Rogers, Carole Buggé and Diane DeCillis.





Chopin with Cherries: A Tribute in Verse, Maja Trochimczyk (Editor), Moonrise Press


This volume celebrates the 200th birth anniversary of Polish pianist-composer, Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849). Ninety-one poets are represented here; they live in the U.S., England, France, Mexico, the Philippines and Poland – with family roots in Poland, Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Malta, Mexico, the Philippines, Serbia, and other countries.