Miles-Nobles Funeral Home announces the death of Diann Blakely, 57, who passed away Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Appling Healthcare. She was born June, 1 1957 in Anniston, Alabama, to Robert and Ann Broadnay Blakely. She was an American poet, essayist, and reviewer. She graduated with a B.A. in art history from the University of the South in 1979; she subsequently received an M.A. in literature from Vanderbilt University in 1980 and an M.F.A. from Vermont College in 1989. She has taught at Belmont University, Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, led workshops at two Vermont College residencies, and served as senior instructor and the first poet-in-residence at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee. A Robert Frost Fellow at Bread Loaf, she was a Dakin Williams Fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, at which she had worked earlier as founding coordinator.
Her first volume of poetry, Hurricane Walk, was published under the name Diann Blakely Shoaf in 1992 and included among the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s ten best verse collections of the year. Her second book, Farewell, My Lovelies, published in 2000 and influenced by “noir” shading, was listed as a Choice of the Academy of American Poets’ Book Club. Her third volume, Cities of Flesh and the Dead, won Elixir Press’s seventh annual publication prize after being distinguished by the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, given for a year’s best manuscript-in-progress Anthologized in several volumes, including Best American Poetry 2003 and Pushcart Prize Anthologies XIX and XX, Blakely was currently at work on a new manuscript entitled Rain in Our Door: Duets with Robert Johnson.
A former poetry editor at the Antioch Review, Blakely now recently occupied a similar position at New World Writing and also serves on Plath Profiles’ board. She has recently contributed essays and reviews to that journal as well as to Harvard Review, Nashville Scene / Village Voice Media, Pleiades, and Smartish Pace.
Upon Mrs. Blakely’s wishes memorialization was by cremation and a memorial service will be held in Anniston, Alabama at a later date.
Miles-Nobles Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.