Reviews for Strings Attached

“Diane DeCillis writes savory poems that make us homesick in multiple ways—for the mysterious people we are connected to, for rooms we stayed in too briefly, for moments which did or didn’t quite click, for art and dreaming, and for plates on the table. A reader feels more ‘anchored to the soil of home’ and linked to all time—visionary past; forward horizon. These wonderful poems have their own needles and threads built right into them, and the warmth of deepest care.”

—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Transfer and Fuel

“Diane DeCillis is the ‘Belle of the String Theory Ball,’ rooted in Detroit, passionate about her Lebanese grandmother, good food, art, and dreams. These warm, philosophical poems explore a cultural and emotional terrain similar to the work of Naomi Shihab Nye. DeCillis ponders Twinkies, absinthe, agoraphobia, the color yellow, insomnia, Cezanne, physics, croissants, and Alfred Hitchcock, all the while unraveling the ball of string that comprises our mortal attachments so she can get to what’s real—the sacred nature of love, life, the universe.”

—Richard Peabody, editor of Gargoyle Magazine

“To say there’s a seedy elegance to these sparkly, crystalline poems is to say they contain everything from broken glass to diamonds; from fleabag motels, cheap pizza, and junkies to limos, tuxes, Chopin, and Debussy. In fact, Diane DeCillis’s grasp of the world’s gritty beauty means there isn’t a whole lot that isn’t in these poems (there’s even a recipe for baklava).”

—David Kirby, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University and author of The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected

Fjords Review by AK Averez

Strings Attached has us thinking about constraints and control. Something that implies conditions to be respected; perhaps even a latent threat. Images of puppetry and almost invisible influences. String Theory, if we’re physics-inclined. Diane DeCillis revisits these semantics, exploring the connections between all things and people: the relationships, tight and loose in turn, that shape each and every one of us. Our identity lies in those strings that we unravel, try to break or strengthen—which would explain why, for many of us, our ‘selves’ are so complex; layers of thread woven into each other.”

-AK Averez, Fjords Review


A lush debut collection of poems dwelling on the author’s Lebanese-American identity. In the rich metaphorical language of food and color, DeCillis, a Detroit native, blends memories of her Lebanese grandmother with longing for her absent father and admiration of her unconventional mother. This is my first taste of the Made in Michigan Writers Series; I like what I see so far. Read More

-Rebecca Foster, Goodreads Review


Strings Attached is just such a gem. . . Decillis eases you into poetic forms with such grace that you want to read the pantoum on page 40, for example, over and over, delighting in her twists and turns and what she is teaching so painlessly – and probably without even intending to educate.

– Pamela Grath, Northern Express


Her 60+ poems tease the intellect, warm the heart, please the ear, whet the physical and spiritual appetites, and nourish artistic sensibilities with their worldly elegance, lyricism, surprising turnsof-phrase, and evocative narratives.

– Jama, Jama Rattigan Blog



“Diane DeCillis spent more than 30 years running the Print and Lido galleries in Southfield and Birmingham. But today she writes poetry—something she says she is fortunate to do.  Receiving a 2015 Michigan Notable Book award, DeCillis’s work makes note of the father who invisibly sticks around, leaving his mark . . ,

– DeJanay Booth, Hour DetroitHour Cover