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Harriet Diann Blakely


1957 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Harriet Diann Blakely

Brunswick, GA

Harriet Diann Blakely, age 57 of Brunswick, GA, passed away on August 5, 2014 after complications from a chronic lung disorder.

Diann was born on June 1, 1957 in Anniston, AL. She was an American poet, essayist, and editor. Graduating 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 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, TN. 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.

She is the author of three books: Hurricane Walk, Farewell, My Lovelies, and Cities of Flesh and the Dead. Her many recognitions include the Pushcart Prize (1994, 1995) and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (1999). Blakely had an extensive knowledge of Southern Poetry and had spent three years writing on the subject in a compilation of essays titled Notes on the State of (Southern) Poetry. She was working on two new books entitled Rain in Our Door: Duets with Robert Johnson and Lost Addresses: New and Selected Poems at the time of her death. More information on Diann can be found on her website: diannblakely.com.

Diann is survived by her parents, Ann and Bob Blakely; her brother Bob Blakely (Betsy); and her beloved nephew, Trace, and nieces, Sarabeth and Emma Blakely, all of Mountain Brook, AL. She is also survived by many loving colleagues and friends.

The family will hold a private Memorial service to honor Diann on Monday, August 11, 2014.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Emmet O'Neal Library, 50 Oak Street, Mountain Brook, AL 35213.



Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 10, 2014
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