Playing Monster : : Seiche is a devastating classic. It’s like reading a detective story or “thriller” but with real pain, real consequences, and purity. Art provides a cushion, and the reader is grateful for the “interludes,” the spaces between the brief stanzas. It’s a good book and I’m glad that I read it—but it is testimony, and one feels something cleansing has been accomplished. Poetry exists against terror, Aristotle said; and the community is the audience for what one endures, as it seeps out into us, the chorus, for we’re all the same one. Aren’t we?
— Alice Notley
Diana Arterian’s Playing Monster :: Seiche does not play, it mourns—for the astringing of a family in times of trauma and for the liquidation of family in times of abuse. The pathos in here animates me and the writing haunts me. And I so gratefully surrender.
— Lily Hoang
Diana Arterian’s poetry is shockingly almost-gentle as it speaks about family violence and childhood terror. In sparse lyrics and tiny knife-like narratives, memory gasps itself out of language and into the white space–into the awful blanks that such searing language digs out. Stone to stone across a life, this never stops. Arterian’s poetry is ferociously unblinking, ferociously variable, and ferociously tender.
— Sarah Vap
Diana Arterian is the author of the chapbooks With Lightness & Darkness and Other Brief Pieces (Essay Press, 2017), Death Centos (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013), and co-editor of Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics (Ricochet, 2016). A Poetry Editor at Noemi Press, her creative work has been recognized with fellowships from the Banff Centre, Caldera, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo, and her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in Asymptote, BOMB, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review of Books, Two Serious Ladies, and The Volta, among others.
Born and raised in Arizona, she currently resides in Los Angeles where she is a doctoral candidate in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. She holds an MFA in poetry from CalArts, where she was a Beutner Fellow.
More about Diana Arterian HERE!