Poet Diann Blakely, a graduate of both the University of the South and Vanderbilt University, begins this week on a great note: The Chronicle of Higher Education has just featured her poem “Dead Shrimp Blues” at its Arts & Academe blog. The poem is part of her collection-in-progress, Rain in Our Door, a series of “duets” with blues artist Robert Johnson. (Each poem in the collection is a response to a song by Johnson.) Arts & Academe’s Lisa Russ Spaar sings Blakely’s praises in a detailed analysis below the poem: “With the refreshing and uncanny empathy for which she is admired and respected as a critic and poet, Blakely offers a fresh attention to Johnson’s music… . The result in Blakely’s poly-vocal ‘Dead Shrimp Blues’ is a refusal to allow any human voice to be shut down or posted out.”
To read the full poem and analysis, click here. To read another poem by Blakely, click here.