Tuesday, January 1, 2019


I am SO excited about this news...
as we move forward into this New Year, my full-length collection of poetry,
Raga for What Comes Next,
has been accepted by Stubborn Mule Press
and is slated for publication this month, January, 2019!

This is the gorgeous front cover, designed by Jeanette Powers, photo by Jon Lee Grafton!

Raga for What Comes Next is seventy-four pages long, and contains forty-eight poems separated into four sections: Sitar, Shenai, Bansuri, and Tabla. The poems include many of the ekphrastic pieces I've written in response to art in Heights Arts Gallery and the Erie Arts Gallery. Also included are the poems "Sitting Next to Paul McCartney in Bomba's One Week After the Autumnal Equinox," "Paul Simon Sees Angels in the Architecture, But I See Scooby Doo in a Flake of Rust," and the performance piece "If the Son of a Motherless Goat Tries to Stare You Down." Many of the poems contained within are recent and unpublished. When Stubborn Mule accepted my manuscript on December 22, it was like getting an early Christmas present. When I hold them in my hands at my book release January 24, it will be like getting an early birthday presentI'll turn sixty-four on February 2!

The Color of Oxygen

"Singing is like a celebration of oxygen."Björk

Tree releases oxygen,
which becomes a raga.

Earth sings in tabla of thunder,
the bansuri of wind.

Birds pluck the strings, multi-tonic
melody in ascent, descent.

Each time it rains, another
improvisation blooms.

Nicole Robinson read the manuscript and wrote this about Raga:

Dianne Borsenik’s Raga for What Comes Next offers a framework of poems that burn with wit and wisdom. We learn to rely on the improvisational style of these poems: their turns, their moments between moments where – upon a closer look – empty is not so empty. Even a discarded bottle has “a shaft of sunlight” to refill it. Borsenik shows us how we all have an “unspooling of identity,” both individually and as a community. But she also reminds us – with sharp imagery and musical riffs that lift from the page – that we return to ourselves and must wait for what comes next. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait in the unknown alone. We have these poems – that sing with music, art, and pop-culture – to show us the joy, beauty, and fun that exists in our waiting.—Nicole Robinson, poet, writer

And Puma Perl wrote:

Ragas, jazz, Dylan, Björk, oxygen, Japanese legends, Lennon, McCartney, origami, Tarantino, Michelle Obama. I could go on in listing the inspirations Borsenik provides, tied together in four parts, each one an instrument that contributes to the rhythms. From the sitar to the tabla, the poems read like a double album, one you will play many times, finding something new with each listen. As Borsenik concludes, “the real prize is not knowing.”—Puma Perl, poet, author of Retrograde

Many thanks to Jeanette Powers and Jason Ryberg for this sparkly miracle! I love the cover, and the formatting is beautiful and sleek. We are working on final edits now. The plan is to have it in my hands in time for my big reading in Lorain, Ohio, on January 24th, 2019.

We're No Angels will be presented at Speak of the Devil between 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Thursday, January 24th, 2019. Speak of the Devil, a craft-cocktail bar, is located at 201 West 5th Street, Lorain, Ohio. The team behind the bar at Speak of the Devil excels at their craft, and the drinks will make you think you're in heaven. You also may order kick-ass pizza at SotD.

We're No Angels is a free event and is open to the public. You'll want to get there early, as there are only so many seats and tables available!

We're No Angels will be a poetry performance, not a reading! We are John Burroughs (nationally touring poet and founder of Crisis Chronicles Press), Dianne Borsenik (poet, publisher/editor at NightBallet Press), and Dave Lucas ( current Poet Laureate of Ohio). Together, we plan to rock your world!

This will be a landmark event; it will be Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas' first reading this far west of Cleveland!

We are also planning a very important announcement concerning...well, we don't want to spoil the surprise. You'll just have to be there to hear it.

I am grateful for all the opportunities this new year offers. I am grateful for Stubborn Mule Press and Speak of the Devil. I am grateful for dear friends and loved ones. I am grateful for James, who has made my life a happy raga. I am grateful to be alive, well, and writing poetry another year.

My wish is that your New Year sparkles with bright sequins of love, light, and opportunity, and that the confetti of happiness and dreams-come-true inundates you. Happy 2019, my friends.

(Below is the PayPal button if you wish to pre-order Raga for What Comes Next.
The price is fifteen dollars. As soon as it's up, I'll also include a link to buy it directly from Stubborn Mule Press.) NOTE! 1/13/19: Raga for What Comes Next is printed and in my hands! If you order a copy, I'll sign it and pop it right in the mail! So EXCITED! Thank you!