Diana Whitney’s seductive second collection juxtaposes the conflicted emotions of motherhood and domesticity with the intoxicating promises of transgression. Fantasies fulfilled or imagined play out against the haunted backdrop of Vermont’s woods and fields, a landscape both harsh and magical, conjuring longing and grief, dissolution and repair. Here we see how time is reflected in our bodies, our children, our choices, and the natural world. DARK BEDS is an anthem for the “sandwich generation”—tired adults caught between the demands of growing children and aging parents, yearning to reclaim desire and a sense of self. Sensual, elegant, and deeply resonant, these poems lay bare the dark beds of a marriage, a garden, a human life: the intimate places where truths are buried, exposed, and sown again in hope of renewal.
Poetry. Family & Relationships. Women's Studies.
“Diana Whitney’s poems are luminous and exacting, skating the line between danger and pleasure, domesticity and desire. ‘How can you savor what you have / when it demands so much attention?’ Whitney asks, as a caregiver, lover, daughter, mother, and partner. DARK BEDS is a lush book—of the body and the world—that boldly reckons with the ways we’re inextricably tethered to nature and to each other.” —Erika Meitner, author of Useful Junk
“From the sexual urgency of spring and the critical overthinking of winter, Whitney’s stunning, beautiful, feminist poems lead us into the magical and sometimes dark natural world, where we find a mirror and metaphor for our wildest, deepest selves, a place where family is the immediate and universal, a way to find solace and strength in a brutal but beautiful world.” —Elizabeth Powell, author of Atomizer
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Diana Whitney writes across genres with a focus on feminism, motherhood, and sexuality. She is the editor of the bestselling anthology You Don't Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves (Workman Publishing, 2021), winner of the Claudia Lewis Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Kenyon Review, Glamour, and elsewhere, and she has received numerous grants for her writing, including from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Vermont Arts Council. Her first book, Wanting It (Harbor Mountain Press, 2014), won the Rubery Book Award in poetry. She lives in Vermont with her family and works as an editor and writing coach.