Skip to content

Contributor Spotlight: Dianna MacKinnon Henning

“All Winter I Remained With the Dead,” “How Many Times Mayakovsky,” and “Black-capped Chickadees” by Dianna MacKinnon Henning appeared in Issue 19 and can be read here.

We’d love to hear more about these three poems.

For “How Many Times Mayakovsky,” I have been fascinated by the Russian poets for some time. I am interested in how repression by a government can create such force in the voice of a writer. In this poem, I needed to use restraint because the emotion behind it was so all-consuming. Perhaps the poem was also instruction to myself regarding my own emotions which sometimes feel overwhelming. I think poems instruct us and myths are hard to live by. One can see in the life of Mayakovsky that he was heading for his own destruction.

“Black-capped Chickadees” came about by watching the birds gather on our mock-orange bush. They seemed to show up when I was lightly watering as if they knew I’d sprinkle them. In researching chickadees, I read that they erase their memories after three months or so to make room for new memories. I was quite struck by the inventiveness of such erasure.

The hardest one to write was “All Winter I Remained With the Dead.” I wrote it in the dead of winter and the winters are so harsh and cold and long here in Lassen County, CA. The seasons inform the poem. It seemed a poem driven by intuition and perhaps illustrates that questions don’t always get an answer. I like to allow myself room to wander and wonder in a poem. There is no resolution here. It’s a meditation on aging. Winter is death.

Published inUncategorized


  1. Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling

    I’ve just discovered your work via your poem today June 30, 2021 at Autumn Sky Poetry Daily and a reference link to two previous poems published at that site. I was very impressed by them, and as is often the case, a single poem will trigger my buying a book. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *