Diane Wald

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“I cannot stop reading Diane Wald’s Wonderbender, and, all the while, I am enthralled by the title, realizing Diane Wald is a wordbender and knowing that the book shifts with each reading: 1. Bender as Re-shaper of Wonder: The book includes astonishing stories with missing parts floating between specificity and mystery. The tension between the transience of telling and the substantiality of the said. (“wonder is bent at various times/quickly/and often invisibly/you don’t realize till later”.) 2. Bender as Makeshift Shelter: Like a dream caught in a dream caught in a dream house. (“my dream last night of the realtors/who sold me people from the past/disguised as houses”). 3. Bender as Binge: Drunk on a sweetness and a sharpness. Drunk on the “veridical hallucinations.” 4. The book as Worldbender: Inside these poems our consciousnesses touch. In the remarkable title poem, the dentist discovers a field of wildflowers in the x-rays of Wald’s mouth—and we say, “Yes, of course”–because we have also experienced the wonder.” – Patrick Lawler

“In spirited kinship with the poems of Frank O’Hara and Gertrude Stein’s notion of the continuous present, Wonderbender presents a vibrant, textured world of “mysterous kindness,” “ a magnificent place to visit.” Here, one is “chosen by llamas… do not doubt us they say and the choosing is definite though the plot sometimes unclear.” Like those llamas, these poems privilege associative energy and revelatory, exuberant choosing over plot as they unfold with great enchantment and authority to reveal a skewed, at times tragic, often funny, acutely observed world. One feels lucky to be in their presence.” – Laurie Sheck

“Diane Wald is a sensational poet in the best meaning of the word—sensation as the true source of wisdom. These poems confide and entice, whisper and dare; they are inviting for their passion and astounding for their prescience. I can think of no poet who can be so imaginative and intimate at once. Frost said the poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom, and Wonderbender is rife with both virtues.” – John Skoyles

Diane & Ziggy Stardust

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