Brattleboro Poet Launches 'Brilliant' Debut

Aug 18, 2014

Brattleboro resident Diana Whitney's debut collection of poetry, Wanting It, is gathering praise from some of the state’s top poets. Vermont Poet Laureate Sydnea Lea calls it a “brilliant book.” Major Jackson refers to the poems in this collection as “ancient secrets.”

Whitney says the title of the book does not refer to one specific thing.

“It’s the wanting it that’s beautiful, more so than the having,” she says. “If you get what you want, then you don’t get that tremulous longing.”

The poems are playful and often erotic, weaving images of nature and rural life with small moments from everyday life.

In addition to poetry, Whitney writes a blog called “Spilt Milk,” which was once a column on parenting. She recently wrote about depression, which has been in the news following the suicides of Vermont Law School Professor Cheryl Hanna and actor and comedian Robin Williams, both of whom had suffered from depression. 

Whitney says the stigma of depression is still strong. “If people were able to come forth and say, ‘This is happened to me,’ that would be a great place to start.”

Whitney continues to write poetry, and she’s now assembling a collection of her essays on parenting.

She’ll appear at the Burlington Book Festival at the Fletcher Free Library on September 20.