Frances Mayes’ 1996 most effective-selling memoir, “Under the Tuscan Sun” left fairly the perception on poet/legal professional Diana Dinverno even though she was undergoing cancer treatments.

“I go through Mayes’ memoir of her expertise moving to Italy and renovating a 300-12 months-previous home in Cortona, a hilltop town in Tuscany,” recollects Dinverno, of Troy, who’s now in remission. “The book took me on an experience when I essential a single. It reminded me existence is comprehensive of wonderful choices, and there’s joy in the pursuit of link with a area and its neighborhood.

“That e-book — and her subsequent publications — experienced these an influence on me, I wrote to Mayes and thanked her,” Dinverno suggests. “I described my spouse, (their two daughters), and I prepared a excursion to Italy, in component, due to her wonderful publications. I was shocked when she responded and explained if I came to Cortona to be sure to quit by. … So we did. That trip was transformative. I was so moved by the ability of her creating and her generosity, I determined to consider a writing workshop when I returned from the vacation, so I could superior share my activities.”






Diana Dinverno of Troy received Muskegon Museum of Art’s annual “Art Talks Back” ekphrastic poetry opposition. Ekphrastic usually means a poem is motivated by an additional artform. Photograph courtesy Diana Dinverno


An alumna of John Glenn Higher Faculty in Westland, Dinverno gained her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and her juris doctor from what is now the College of Detroit Mercy College of Regulation. She has been a practicing legal professional for 35 yrs.

Not too long ago, Dinverno gained initially place in the Muskegon Museum of Art’s annual “Art Talks Back” ekphrastic poetry competitiveness for her poem “Escaping the Labyrinth.” The phrase ekphrastic usually means the poetry is influenced by one more artform. The MMA posted photographs of artwork and challenged contributors to generate poems influenced by a person of their good is effective.

This year, the MMA asked for poems motivated by a new sculpture in the museum’s collection, Beth Carter’s “Minotaur Looking at,” a everyday living-size bronze sculpture of the ferocious mythological creature with the physique of a man and the head of a bull. According to fantasy, the Minotaur was so feared that he was imprisoned in a gigantic labyrinth on the island of Crete. Carter’s sculpture departs from the fantasy by exhibiting the Minotaur not as anything fearsome, but in its place, quietly reading through a book.

In addition to the sculpture, Dinverno’s poem also was motivated by the strategy that poetry can conserve a lifetime.

“In my perspective, Carter difficulties us to issue our mythologies and rethink what frightens us,” she points out. “This manufactured me consider of a tale I read on NPR numerous several years back about a lady who lived in New York Town. (She) was approached in a park by a man with a gun, who said he didn’t want to die by itself. Fearing for her individual lifestyle, she began to have interaction the male. Someway, the communicate turned to poetry. She recited poems from memory by previous U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand and confident the man to accompany her to a bookstore to discover extra of the poet’s perform.”

In Dinverno’s poem, the Minotaur is the troubled gentleman with the gun.

“By striving to make a connection with this male and discover anything that resonated with him, it’s possible the girl saved her own life and — perhaps — the life of the gentleman in crisis,” she suggests. “I’m fascinated and moved by the thought that art can help save a everyday living — and the value of memorizing poetry!”

She received a $100 hard cash prize for her entry in the contest.

“I’m grateful the MMA sponsors this yearly contest and values the do the job of poets and ekphrastic poetry,” Dinverno suggests. “I’ve often enjoyed reading poetry. It probably started with (Robert Louis Stevenson’s) ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses,’ which was on my childhood bookshelf. In college or university, I was launched to the terrific 20th-century poets, and from that position on, I have gravitated toward poetry. Following producing my 1st poem at a workshop at the Troy Public Library, a sestina — which is a hard poetic type — I was hooked. It had the same satisfaction as performing on a puzzle, trying to make one piece suit in opposition to a further.

“But most importantly, I’ve realized a poem can seize a fleeting instant, an emotion, a realization, in a smaller room,” she says. “Poetry, like several artwork sorts, serves us when other language fails.”

Online:

dianadinverno.com

muskegonartmuseum.org/wp-information/uploads/2021/03/E-book-Artwork-Talks-Again-2020-2021.pdf