Images of Being
Stone Garden Publishing, October 2011

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1. Nicolette Milholin of the Montgomery County News
“Like a well-written memoir, Sahms-Guarnieri’s work
shoots straight to the center of human experience
instead of hiding pain under a false fabric of pretension.”

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2.Barbara Bialick of the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
“to Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, images are an all-important way
she remembers people from her childhood and on into motherhood.”

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3.Christine O'Leary Rockey of the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel
“Her writing is wonderfully conservative in that way that poets
strive for- each word matters and is artfully placed against another
to create maximum impact in sometimes very small spaces."

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Light's Battered Edge
Anaphora Literary Press, October 2015
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The familiar Gospel song may reassure us that "His eye is on the sparrow,"
but for those at the battered edges of our society, too often it doesn't
seem that way. Here, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri catches sight of
"a sparrow by its own forgotten self,"
and that sparrow stands in for other "forgotten" ones: the homeless,
the wrecked, the ill,a family of forebears "visited" by comprehensive
Job-like "Misery." Even as she shows us "light's battered edges," however,
Sahms-Guarnieri makes us sharply aware of
"life playing / disharmoniously and harmoniously": love so close it's
"like being safely snug inside / the lining of another's skin";earth itself
surrendering "to each / sunset" "in a thankful swaying sort of way";
a soul snatched up animistically, "lifting, lifting, lifting into light."
These compelling poems leave us disquieted, as much by beauty as by sorrow.
Nathalie F. Anderson, Author of Quiver
Professor, Swarthmore College

Think of the spirit of place as the frame of memory shaping language,
of the perpetual soliloquy of being who you are in counterpoint
with echoing phrases others have uttered at or to you,
and you will have some idea of the chant and enchantment
of the poems gathered in Light's Battered Edge.
There are some hard truths in these poems -
about abusive spouses, about the wear and tear
of caring for others. But underlying it all
is the sense of what love really means.
Frank Wilson, books, INQ. - THE EPILOGUE

Night Sweat
Red Dashboard Press, January 2016
Now Available at Amazon.com

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Wherever Diane Sahms-Guarnieri takes you, she takes you all the way there,
soul and senses rendered high-definition cameras, taking in history, loss,
family, humor, and eros in a world brought alive. Night Sweat,
her new book, moves among her beloved Philadelphia and environs, Old City,
Christ Church, where “the present belongs and does not belong,” even
the drug dealers at Frankford Terminal - then we’re in a bed of fire
and fondly remembered love, then “friendship, the hinge of a calm shell,”
then a flower field, with “seductive” tulips and “slightly badass”
dandelions, then ancestors, relationship, descent from Lenape settlers
and from the stars alike (“Stars connect us: they are lineage”).
This poet is a singer, of car accident, graffiti artist, or the marriage
(told in a hilarious poem) of William Carlos Williams and Flossie.
After reading Night Sweat, you will live in a different world — or,
rather, thanks to Diane Sahms-Guarnieri,the world you always lived in,
all aching beauties laid bare.
John Timpane, Assistant Books Editor/Media Editor Writer,
Philadelphia Inquirer

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri’s Night Sweat is a moving collection of poems.
In Sahms-Guarnieri’s poem “Sunset” she writes:
“Everything has its own way of entering into night.”
Many of her most memorable poems are intimate and unprecious portraits
of people and urban landscapes and the psychic interplay of each
in the other. Here people and places live inside each other
and vice versa. In the poem “Delaware River” she describes the river as
“a snake/who has swallowed a mouse/it carries it through night/like a dark
and dirty secret.” There is also much flora and fauna in the book, but
Sahms-Guarnieri’s edge remains. She writes “I have come to mistrust
the wisdom of trees/ their disguises.”Sahms-Guarnieri is a tough
and tender poet. Her poems bridge time and memory
in ways that unexpectedly reveal our present.
Thomas Devaney, poet and author of The Picture that Remains
and A Series of Small Boxes

In Night Sweat, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri explores the physical
and emotional landscapes of the places and people she loves
She knows these places. She knows these people.
And she writes with both the authority and humility
of a poet fully engaged with these worlds.
Jim Daniels, Thomas Stockham Baker Professor of English,
Carnegie Mellon University

In a city that looks back, reflective as the moon,
Diane Sahms-Guarnieri hangs life on the line from clothespin
to clothespin to clothespin, billowing in the night breeze,
a breeze that chills but does not cool.The light Night Sweat
sheds on the city is not the glare of sun, but the haunting
vision of moonlight that touches at once the subliminal
and the sublime. In a striking array of poetic images,
reflecting together Ash Can Art and Georgia O’Keefe,
haunting and dazzling at once, as moonlight illuminations
provide tantalizing glimpses in a landscape revealed only to
the exquisite extent that moonlight allows.
Mike Cohen, Host of Poetry Aloud and Alive &
Contributing Editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal

The Handheld Mirror of the Mind
Kelsay Press, July 2018
Now Available at Amazon.com

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Frank Wilson of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes:
'Handheld Mirror': Well-chosen words as emotional abstract art

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri's latest collection addresses much of import:
separation of a mother from her child, loss of a beloved aunt,
an elderly woman's loss of memory, environmental anxiety,
all set within a passion for the light and color embodied in
flowers, trees, and birds. But what catches your attention right away
is the innovative use of language Sahms-Guarnieri has taken to
employing in order to address them. ...If poetry is anything, it is
the search for combinations of words whose sound and sense
most nearly match that mix of heartbreak and joy at the heart
of things that we call experience. The poems gathered in this volume
demonstrate that the search can often prove pretty intense.

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Logan Krum of the Northeast Times writes:
Guarnieri is a fluid writer. Her writing uses conceptual images
and descriptions to tell her stories, her words washing over them
like river water over a boulder...Her handheld mirror
is polished perfectly.

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Poetry of global dreaming. Life on earth is under threat and
Diane Sahms-Guarnieri makes a poetic call for the survival of humans
and all animal species, life on the endangered list. We are all connected
and interdependent. Our past teaches us core lessons for the future.
Now is the time to take action to preserve life on the global home we share.
Diane's poetry is a celebration of this life, inside and out.
Martin Chipperfield, 34th Parallel Magazine

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri is a stunning wordsmith. In her collection,
The Handheld Mirror of the Mind, we journey through themes
of loss, grief, our shared humanity, and the complexities of the inner life.
With great tenderness and lyricism, Guarnieri skillfully navigates
these topics. Her graceful descriptions of the natural world provide
a vivid magic, as if painting with words. In one poem, Guarnieri refers
to stars, as pinprick diamonds mined out of / night's cave, luminous studs /
riveted through black velvet.
She deals with death and the expectation
of loss with care, infusing the life of nature, as in the line,
Your dusty voice rising as spirit leaving mimosa.
There is also great comfort, as in the refrain of the poem,
As long as a heart is beating someone is always alive.
While dealing with human struggles, this collection offers hope.
Guarnieri invites us to honor all beings, all creatures, and all
understandings of faith by joining together,
as global dreamers in coexistence.

Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor of Blue Heron Review; author of
Amnesia and Awakenings and Still Life Stories, among others.

What does a heart know anyway? Diane Sahms-Guarnieri's lucid and brave
fourth full-length collectionThe Handheld Mirror of the Mind wrestles
with this question, as love and loss pass as naturally as the seasons.
Through elegy and aubade, the speaker turns her gaze inward,
interrogating the darkness. However, as she sifts through memory's wreckage,
there are patches of light and hope, of song. As the speaker reconciles:
I carry their song inside my body, / inside rhapsody of thoughts /
To them I sing this easy truth.

Emari DiGiorgio, author of Girl Torpedo and
The Things a Body Might Become

COVID-19, 2020: A Poetic Journal
Moonstone Press, August 2021
Now Available at Moonstone

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Megan Milligan of the Northeast Times writes:
Sahms-Guarnieri's work embodies the magnitude of feelings felt
at the beginning of the pandemic. Readers are left with the heaviness
that 2020 left behind, but also gratitude that they survived
a truly chaotic year.

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As sobering as Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year
when the Bubonic Plague devasted London, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri's
Covid-19, 2020is a grim recounting of the horrible year through which
we have just lived.

Starting with the ironically named March Madness section, a term
that usually refers to the annual NCAA basketball tournament but so
succinctly captures the mass disorientation, like a sci-fi movie, yet real,
as she notes on 3-23-2020, the journal proceeds through April, the cruelest month,
mixing death and rebirth in its stew of life, into the horrific summer
of 2020 - 185,000 dead in the United States by Labor Day - and into fall/winter
with the mounting dead, the glimmer of hope that a vaccine may soon be available.
The collection ends on New Year's Eve, over 350,000 Americans dead
under the chaotic leadership of the Trump administration, the most of any nation
in the world. Along the way, as if the pandemic were not bad enough,
Sahms-Guarnieri addresses the social turmoil that tore the country apart,
the racial injustice that spawned BLM.

Sahms-Guarnieri captures the fear and loneliness so eloquently in the April poem,
Nature & Mothers Weeping, which begins:

Horrific scene played on TV
a mother weeping & wailing
for daughter, dead. COVID-19.

Last seen alive via FaceTime:
Mom, I can't breathe.

I, with thoughts of my only
living daughter, weep
for those whom I don't know

As Defoe wrote over three centuries ago, everyone looked on himself and his family
as in the utmost danger...London might well be said to be all in tears.

Charles Rammelkamp, author of Ugler Lee and Mortal Coil