A nice review of I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust, my collection of science fiction and fantasy poetry, written by Lisa Timpf, appeared recently in Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust grew out of the 2016 Poetry Month challenge by then-Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Gerald Hill. Each weekday of that month (April), he sent two lines of published Saskatchewan poetry to all members of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, with the challenge to create new work either containing or inspired by those lines. Much to my surprise (since I am, as the review notes, better-known as a prose writer than a poet–to put it mildly) I wrote a poem every day, and this book, illustrated by my artist-niece Wendi Nordell and published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing, was the result.
The review isn’t online, but here are highlights of the last few paragraphs:
When I heard about the premise of the book, I was curious to see how the author would deal with the assigned two lines. Would they stick out like proverbial sore thumbs, or would they flow seamlessly into the poem? From my viewpoint, Willett did a good job of integrating the lines into the poems…
I also found it interesting to see where Willett’s imagination wouldtake him with the assigned portions. In reviewing the poems, I can honestly say that Willett went places that would never occur to me. Included in Willett’s poems are a pair of snail siblings with a hate on for each.other, rodeo cowboys, a woman with a werewolf husband and a vampire son, and sentient rocks. The situations Willett depicts are also interesting, and include extra years of life stored in a closet, a section of farmland excised from the Earth and turned into a living miniature, and a colony of aliens living near Revelstoke.
Because of the prose-ish nature of many of the poems, I TumbleThrough the Diamond Dust may be less appealing for poetry purists. However, the book is interesting in its own right for a number of reasons. It builds upon, and in a way helps to highlight, the works of other Canadian poets. It provides a living demonstration of how using other poets’ work as a springboard can end up taking us somewhere new and different. It includes illustrations as an added bonus. And, last but not least, it provides 21 small stories that transport us to strange places on, or off, the planet Earth.