Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult, Poetry
Raised in southeast Vancouver, Diane Tucker of Burnaby graduated from UBC in 1987 with a BFA in Creative Writing and married Jim Tucker in the same year. They have two children, Beth, born in 1990, and Joe, born in 1993. She has been president of Burnaby Writers' Society, having been a member since 1993. Tucker has served one term on League of Canadian Poets National council (BC Rep, 1998-99).
CITY/TOWN: Burnaby, BC
DATE OF BIRTH: May 26, 1965
PLACE OF BIRTH: Vancouver, BC
ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: Scottish/Irish
EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: homemaker
God on His Haunches (Nightwood Editions 1996)
Love Along the Tongue, Moth Press (self-published chapbook, 2001)
Bright Scarves of Hours (Palimpset 2007) $18 978-0-9733952-7-3
His Sweet Favour, Thistledown Press, 2009, ISBN: 978-1-897235-64-5
List Price: $16.95, Young Adult Fiction
Bonsai Love (Harbour, 2014) - poetry - 978-1-55017-643-8
God on His Haunches was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award 1997
[BCBW 2014] "Poetry"
Bright Scarves of Hours
from Hannah Main-van der Kamp
Diane Tucker knows how a small detail becomes extraordinary. In The Sky Train she notes “a chapel of sunlight, slanted buttresses … through the windows where it stains a shoulder bare and edged with gold along its biceps’ black tattoo.” The poem turns out to be, among other things, about Sunday worship.
Scarves has an unusual Index. It lays out at a glance the thoughtful structure of the book. In addition to Prologue and Epilogue, the nine sections are points on the clock and the domestic tasks appointed to those Hours as well as the chronological progress of a life.
Starting with childhood memories, courtship, marriage, through her children’s lives and ending in sleep, Tucker wrests songs from the repetitive notes of domestic life. Children playing at the beach are contrasted with the drowning of nuns on Hopkins’ “The Deutschland.” Dragonflies are seen: “jewel shards…the breath of amethysts…shot-silk arrows and perfect narrow machinery.”
A surprising August Aurora strikes her “staring, standless as if lifted, dandled in a moonbright hand.” Speaking of hand, Tucker re -imagines Creation in a small wood fire and ends with “the first heat, unalloyed, that filled the skies but did not burn God’s hand.”
There are some pieces in which the intensity of language could be hitched up a bit. Tucker is too casual about some details of the natural world; salmon bones are not quills, not even with a poet’s license. Pen nibs, maybe, but not feathers.
In this, her second collection, Tucker struggles to live at peace domestically with the dragon of the inner poet. She forbids that power from plucking at her heart. Good thing he didn’t comply. “… every pebble, every leaf, is a dragon sent to eat my juicy heart.”