January 1, 2024 Recent comments from readers of Between Selves.

What fine, fine, rich work…and the arrangement takes my breath away!  The sequences and pairings are brilliant.  Diana Cole’s voice is so distinct and authentic.  The reader experiences details and stories from decades of her life and one admires the grace and compassion she brings to these reckonings, precarious questions of living, Good humor and acceptance too.   A special quality is the depth the collection achieves— with command and finesse so much (humanity) is revealed— while flowing so well and being an enjoyable read. Beyond simple relatability though, they are so fresh, tender, and original.  And, through it all, such music! Her listening which then becomes poetry, is remarkable.  

Mary Ann Mayer:   Kissing the Shuttle — A Lyric History

I've read Between Selves by Diana Cole and really love and appreciate it. The interweaving of the relationships with her mother, her parents relationship with each other and her own love relationships works so well. I felt admitted inside the encounters, rather than being a spectator. The poems are intimate in that we hear her voice — such a strong emotional, bone open voice–and she relates and shares the encounters with such strong details. I am fascinated by how the author has used metaphors to stand in for the nature of the relationship. “The Lure", with yellow eyes and a silver heart at the cold metal tip, an odd design and of course the hidden hooks. “At the Nursing Home", with the wild image of eating the nectarine before the speaker returns to the quiet room. The poem about Nik Wallenda walking the wire across Niagara Falls resonates for me with the fearless persistence of the speaker in this book and the uncertain outcome of relationships. Her language in these images and the metaphors is fierce, and so the arc of the book which bends to the beautiful and quiet final poem “What You Make of it."    

Catherine Morocco: Dakota Fruit

In Diana Cole’s new book, Between Selves, the poet's account of what she has “wrung out of love" is intense. What depth of thought, what honesty of feeling! “I insisted myself into an available coupling," “double meanings forged and faked to death," “my heart swinging on a rusty hinge still open." What the book does is bring everything together, setting the love shared among her mother, her father, and herself alongside the more troubled love of her romantic life. The poet has dug so deep that the reader believes her when she says: “I take nothing back."

Monica McAlpine: Winter Bride