Talented attorney pursues her passion for poetry and prose

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by Jeanine Matlow
Legal News

Whether you’re a lawyer or a laborer, there’s no telling where life will lead.

That was the case for Diana Dinverno who found a creative outlet as a writer after experiencing health issues and taking a transformative trip to Italy.

“Writing can be a form of therapy, bearing witness to loss, regret and injustice. It’s a means of recording experiences and events that might otherwise be lost. It’s also an act of gratitude,” says the attorney who does coverage work attending hearings for law firms specializing in creditor’s rights.

Dinverno, an ovarian cancer survivor who is married with two grown daughters, also takes on short-term legal projects, such as research, document preparation, and reviews. Originally, this type of work allowed her to have a more flexible schedule when her kids were young. Now it provides more time for other pursuits, such as writing. 

As she takes a break from long-form creative writing, poetry remains her current focus.

“Poems are satisfying, as a reader and a writer. Poetry can capture the elusive – a moment, an emotion, an idea – with images, sound, and story. It’s a bit like magic,” says Dinverno, whose poems have appeared in literary journals.

Recently, the Poetry Society of Michigan published two of her prize-winning poems in the 2019 fall edition of “Peninsula Poets.”

“There are many excellent poets out there, so I’m thrilled every time someone recognizes my work,” says Dinverno, who encourages others to read the genre. “Pick up a poetry collection by Mary Oliver or Billy Collins for an introduction or subscribing to poets.org for a broader sample of poetic works. You’ll find something that speaks to you. Consider attending local poetry readings. There’s a talented poetry community in the Detroit area and across Michigan.”

Though it can be tough for Dinverno to find uninterrupted writing time, the process can be rewarding when the stars align.

“So often, writing is about working despite the absence of the muse, that spark of creative inspiration. When she shows up and the words start to flow, it’s exhilarating,” says Dinverno whose work can be found at dianadinverno.com.

When asked if she has any advice for those who may be pursuing two different paths simultaneously, she says: “Like so many things in life, if you want it enough, you can make it happen. Be brave. Take risks. Keep moving forward until someone says yes.”

The practice of listening to others has served her well in both worlds. For instance, her short story entitled “How to Fall” was a finalist for the 2015 New Rivers Press American Fiction Award and it was published in American Fiction — Volume 15: The Best Unpublished Stories by New and Emerging Writers in New Rivers Press in 2016. Featuring a young soldier traveling to Camp Stewart in Georgia during World War II, the story was inspired by one her late father told her.

“The work is fiction, but I love how pieces of my father ended up on the page,” she says.

Her inspiration seems to come from her passion for the world around her.

“I love beautiful things—images, objects, and design. Whether in a museum, a vintage market, or someone’s home, I appreciate the talents of creative people, present and past,” says Dinverno, who enjoys the thrill of the hunt at flea markets and making decorative objects from paper, such as little books, memory garlands, and holiday decorations. 

These artistic details provide the perfect material for her visual form of storytelling.

“Her love of fine art, museums, nature scenes, food stylings and family has been apparent through her poetry, stories and posts,” says Diane DeCillis, fellow writer and friend who first met Dinverno years ago when the attorney hosted a holiday party for Detroit Working Writers. “I immediately noticed the warm ambiance of her home enhanced by special touches and how beautifully her table was arranged.” 

Now it’s Dinverno’s skill with words that has captured her attention.

“Since then, I’ve gotten to know her wonderful poetry through an advanced poetry workshop I teach for Springfed Arts,” adds DeCillis, author of Strings Attached, a Michigan Notable Book and Winner of the Next Generation Book award. “Diana’s appreciation of beauty, her thoughtfulness, and intelligence shine from the inside out. Her talent for honing in on the small but significant measures that can alter our outlook is a gift.”

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