Diane Burns (1956–2006)

Diane Burns (Chemehuevi/Ojibwa) was educated at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Merit. She later attended Barnard College of Columbia University, where she majored in political science. Burns was a member of the Third World Writers Association, the Feminist Writers Guild, and the Poet’s Overland Expeditionary Troupe. Her chapbook, Riding the One-Eyed Ford, was published by Contact II in 1981 and nominated for the William Carlos Williams Award.

Between 1987 and 1993, poet and teacher Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club, produced a series of 55 “Poetry Spots” for WNYC-TV. Each of these “non-commercial commercials” is built around a poet’s performance of a single poem. See poetryspots.com for an archive drawn from Holman’s digitized tapes and an excellent interview that puts this Emmy Award-winning series into context.

For more on Diane Burns, see Sky Hopinka, I’ll Remember You as You Were, not as What You’ll Become (2016) as well as poet Nicole Wallace’s “Introduction” to Riding the One-Eyed Ford (link above).