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The Alchemy of Desire: Poems

The Alchemy of Desire is an ecstatic collection of poems that literally and metaphorically affirms life and the power of poetry to heal and connect with the pulse beating of the world. The poems take you on a journey, from the powerful opening poem "In The Beginning" which ends with the couplet: "It will be my masterpiece. It will be my Genesis./ Everyone will know my name." to the final title poem "The Alchemy of Desire," in which "the power of love/reconstructs the universe"; Dianalee Velie affirms that power over and over again. This is a book that reminds of us to cherish and celebrate the people and places we love most and the courage it takes to do that. -- Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina Poet Laureate I read Dianalee Velie's The Alchemy of Desire over a long, quiet weekend, and in between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, I went on a journey like none I'd ever been on before; I walked back into a world that was entirely different, because I was entirely different. In this rich, juicy, poignant, and sometimes hilarious collection, Velie celebrates what it is to be alive and human and sentient in this troubled and amazing world. At the core of each poem in this collection is the great heart of the poet herself, and what is even more critical than what is included in these poems is what is left out. There is restraint burning in the margins and stanza breaks. Dianalee Velie knows what it means to love and lose, and love and laugh, and walks the fine line between the two with the skill of a poet at the height of her power. Enjoy this beautiful ride! -- Lisa Starr, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus Dianalee Velie's collection of poems, The Alchemy of Desire, explores a woman's journey through devastating loss to find a path of self-discovery and healing. Velie's image-rich, mostly narrative poems propel the reader through a gamut of experiences, which include humor, sensuality, family, and responses to art, music, history and myth. The voice in the poems manifests an indomitable spirit, rising above unspeakable grief. In her poem "Unchained" Velie writes: Like the unchained performer, my soul twists like a snake around memories of Eden, a time before the disappearance of happiness. For the moment, I am unfettered, free of grief, crowing, like the rooster, for a new dawn, faithful I will find my way in the dark. -- Lori Desrosiers, Editor, The Naugatuck River Review
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