Books By Diane Frank

While Listening to the Enigma Variations

While Listening to the Enigma Variations

order info

Stellar Reviews

Review by Charles Rammelkamp in Compulsive Reader
Review by Wally Swist in Your Impossible Voice
Review by John Kooistra in Cloudbank 16
Review by Brian Fanelli in Pedestal Magazine


Praise for the Enigma Variations

Diane Frank's terrific While Listening to the Enigma Variations: New and Selected Poems, shows us a poet over a long and rich career who is undefeated by the acknowledged difficulties of living an affirmative life. She concludes an elegy to a friend by saying, "Shine your light into the dark world," and this is what Frank does in her poems. She's an ecstatic poet, who finds joy in music, dance, poetry, and, in general, in art itself. A book to have by your bedside when things seem bad.

— Stephen Dunn, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

These poems of love returning to love, and light returning to light, are a heart gone supernova. Page by page Frank burns a path to her readers' hearts. The alignments are profound, the connections electric – from heart to bone, from marrow to star. These are radiant poems, where we earthbound creatures may find simultaneous escape and renewal.

— George Wallace, Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace

In this new and startling collection, Diane Frank's poems transcend not just genres but entire dimensions. When she speaks to J.S. Bach, she really means it and when Bach speaks back, she listens — entirely — the way certain moths perceive sound via their whole body, even their wings. How is this accomplished? It will seem to come through the poems themselves — their music, tonal qualities and subjects, yet it goes even deeper as it pushes up like duende through the soles of your feet. The voice is declarative, emphatic, spirit driven. She will tell you, 'When a buffalo enters your dream, / listen for arpeggio hooves, / the weight of music, / a copper moon / above a vanishing prairie' and you will, you must listen.

— Lois P. Jones, author of Night Ladder
Radio Host, KPFK’s Poets Café

Winner, 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Poetry: A wonderful work of poetic art. The reader is taken on a seemingly personal tour through a landscape of beautiful visions and a wide range of emotions. This is a passionate and heartfelt collection that readers can enjoy again and again. I look forward to more work from this immensely talented writer. Fantastic!!!

—Leon A Walker, Next Generation Indie Book Awards Judge

Diane Frank reminds us that we all inhabit this planet together, so it's better to honor life than take it for granted or destroy it. While Listening to the Enigma Variations comes just at the right time, following a few very difficult years. Her poems remind readers to sing and celebrate because we're still here. We're alive.

—Brian Fanelli, Pedestal Magazine

As the title of Diane Frank’s stunning collection of new and selected poems suggests, with its reference to Edward Elgar’s exquisite orchestral suite, music is an important theme throughout her work. Dance, spirituality, dreams, and love are as well. They all add up to profound wisdom and convey a sense of joyfulness.

— Charles Rammelkamp, Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore and Reviews Editor for The Adirondack Review

Tomas Transtromer once said that his poems are meeting places for souls. In this world where one does not always feel entirely at home, it is with a sense of recognition that one enters a Diane Frank poem, with all its exotic quirks, and rather than feel it to be strange, feel it to be a habitable, companionable place of kindred spirits.

— Thomas Centolella, Author of Almost Human

Here is a book to treasure, to take down frequently for no particular reason, a book to help us remember why we took to poetry in the first place.

— Daniel J. Langton, Creative Writing Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University