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"There are things we live among and to see them is to know ourselves." George Oppen, "Of Being Numerous"

"Fairy-tale and reality blended convincingly, the poems in this collection surge in green waves to pull the reader on their vivid tide of mystery, pain and beauty. Loss and imagination battle for 
victory, but with nature’s help and Pinckney’s mastery, there is enough


 to rescue us from the undertow." --

Nancy White, President of Word Works and author of

Sun, Moon, Salt and Detour.



At the coastal intersection of make believe and family narrative, Pinckney has set a big table that draws the world, like iron filings to a magnet, from Mars to the briny bottom of her heart. There is a restless, playful, and soulful intelligence at work among the pails of shrimp and cobbs.  I promise you will enjoy tumbling in its shark and sand flea infested undertow. This beautifully crafted collection is a tide pool of palpable joy and wistful loss, populated with conjured folk, marsh and mer creatures, invisible rails, fishermen, and “more churches/than God could ask for.”


Roger Weingarten, author of ten books of poetry and founder of the MFA in Writing & Postgraduate Writers Conference at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

     Green Daughters

   Lorimer Press

Green Daughters available in April, 2011 from,
Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C., Finleaf Gallery, Columbia, S.C., Litchfield Books, Pawleys Island, S.C.,  Harborwalks Books, Georgetown, S.C., Literary Bookpost, Salisbury, N.C., Malaprops Books, Asheville, N.C., Barnes & Noble, or

Not waving but drowning is a haunting phrase that begins and ends one of poet Stevie Smith’s most famous poems. But Diana Pinckney in her stunningly evocative collection Green Daughters succeeds in teaching us to do both at once. From poem to poem Pinckney asks us to negotiate those liminal spaces between land and sea, self and other, conscious and unconscious. Soon, though, in this poet’s sure hands, the boundaries begin to dissolve until we find ourselves drifting in a lyrical world of unexpected and magical places. There is as much delightful humor throughout these pages as there is heartbreaking gravity. This is a collection I will return to again and again.


 Cathy Smith Bowers

North Carolina Poet Laureate






Here on the edge

 of the world we give

 way to the tide

 that takes us


beyond the familiar,

 past what is never

 past, the undertow

 under the moon

 carrying us over

 a horizon where


we swim, turning

 and turning

 our bodies into

 the cries of birds.

Wild Goose Review

from Green Daughters

“Maybe landscape shapes the poets, or maybe poets find the landscapes they require.” – Tony Hoagland




Main Street Rag Publishing Company

Alchemy  --  $7.00 --  Available from Main Street Publishing Co., online Book Store, Park Road Books or contact

"Tranformation is at the heart of Diana Pinckney's Alchemy. Pinckney is a master at using the natural world as metaphor for all those things -- loss, change, death -- which transformation can render palatable.
...In these poems memory often transforms and offers partial restoration of what is lost."

-- Dannye Romine Powell,
The Charlotte Observer


We give in, leave our beds at

to the back lawn, the whole family sprawled

on wide-bladed Charleston grass that crackles

with June bugs, my mother lamenting

lost constellations, all of us searching

for stars that wouldn’t fall, leaving the sky

to a transient moon, the night to the floating ember

of my father’s Lucky Strike, breath rough

in his chest, his ruined heart already drowning.


from  Achemy


White Linen

Nightshade Press

White Linen,
  -- $10.00 --  Available from Park Road Books, or contact

"Pinckney takes on numerous weighty matters in White Linen, yet the controlled precision of her imagery pre-empts bathos or self-pity. Her work is informed by a sensibility of rare scope that communicates its impressions in a truely profound way."

-- Eileen Amon,
Creative Loafing Magazine

"A particular pleasure in this book is the variety of forms employed. Another is Pinckney's deft use of quotes from various characters in her poems."
-- Kathryn Stripling Byer,
Asheville Poetry Review



after de Kooning, whose images of women are saidto cross Rubens‘ style with the ferocity of vampires

Drifting at the water’s edge, arms and legs rounded in layers of creamy paint, the women float before us like puffs of breath,
dough rising in the oven of sun and sand.
Their breasts circle and circle,
the way clouds swirl and cover sky

over this July ocean. Spread in a chorus line
by de Kooning’s brush, they carry

buckets of stony secrets,

round mollusc we call quahogs, Venus mercenaria, pried from the muddy grains

of that self-contained world where one
is enough, hearts locked
between bivalves. Perhaps the diggers
plan a clambake, a night of sucking
what they can from hard mouths. In the blond light of afternoon, they half-smile,

not telling what the salty evening holds.

Cream City Review

EKPHRASIS  Vol. 5 NO. 5, Spring/Summer 2011

from White Linen


Fishing With Tall Women

Persephone Press

Winner of North Carolina's 1996 Persephone Press Book Award and South Carolina's Kinlock Rivers Chapbook Contest

Fishing With Tall Women is out of print. Many of the poems from this letter press limited edition collection are included in White Linen

"Fishing With Tall Women is outstanding, relating its personal terrors and exultations to history, to the crimes, banalities and bigotries of our culture."
-- Persephone Award Judge, Donald W. Baker

"The wonderful thing about these poems is their remarkable combination of elegance, charm, finish, on the one hand -- and genuine human passion on the other."
-- Dr. Anthony Abbott


This month, this green April

leaves. Leaves

before I can look long enough,

absorb the white curve of dogwood,

the coral and lavender of azaleas,

remember enough

of that April

I waited for my dark-eyed boy

to be born.

Or the April

that disappeared

when my father died.

April turns cold, warm,

cold again, blooms.

Rain steals its petals.

Third Lung Review

from Fishing With Tall Women
& White Linen