Diane Kendig B&W
Diane Kendig Biography

"Writing poetry is a way of life,
not a career."

                                   --Marvin Bell

Diane Kendig has worked for decades as a poet and writer, translator, and teacher. She was born and raised in Canton, Ohio in a house her father Russ Kendig built himself when he came home from WWII. He married Gladys May Young, and they had four children, of whom Diane is the oldest. Diane was educated in the public schools before going off to college. One of the two big influences in her early years of writing remains her family and its community, which included her neighborhood, schools, and church. Second, she was fortunate to spend her twenties in Cleveland, with its expansive poetry performing and publishing scene, where writers from many backgrounds collaborated in readings, workshops, and conferences. Of those years she says, "The free monthly CSU Poetry Forum was my MFA." She was thrilled to go back to Cleveland in 2006 to see one of her poems as part of a permanent art installation designed by Koryn Rostad at the Cleveland State College of Business. Since then, Diane has lived and worked other places in Ohio and in Santa Cruz, CA, Rochester, NY, Managua, Nicaragua, and the North Shore of Boston. 

Her poetry has been published in three chapbooks, most recently The Places We Find Ourselves,  as well as over fifty journals, including J Journal, About Place, and Poemeleon, and anthologies such as Grrr: A Collection of Poems About Bears, Voices from the Porch, and Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn.  She has been the recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artists Fellowships in Poetry and a Yaddo Fellowship.  In addition to poetry, she has published creative nonfiction and fiction in journals and anthologies such as Ariadne’s Thread: A Collection of  Contemporary Women’s Journals, From the Heartlands: Photos and Essays from the Midwest, and Those Winter Sundays: Female Academics and Their Working-Class Parents.

As a translator, she first published poems from the Nicaraguan poetry workshop movement, including a bilingual chapbook of Nicaraguan poems with photos by Steve Cagan.  Titled And a Pencil to Write Your Name: Poems from the Nicaragua Poetry Workshop Movement, the book took Diane to the National Endowment for the Humanities Translation Institute at UC Santa Cruz and to a 1991 Fulbright Lectureship in the Translation Department of Central American University in Nicaragua. Since then, she has translated poems by among other Nicaraguan poets, Daisy Zamora, who translated Diane's work for the literary supplement of Nuevo Diario.  Diane returned to Managua with other American writers in 1996 to run poetry workshops for children and for teens in neighborhood centers and for inmates in the maximum security prison, La Modelo.

From 1984 to 2002, she was a member of the English Department at The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, where she developed the department’s creative writing program. In addition to courses in composition, creative writing, and teacher training, she developed a literature course in Ohio Writers, a career course for English Majors, and two advanced courses in e-poetics and r-rhetoric delivered both face to face and online. During her tenure at UF, she participated in the university's prison education program, teaching often Lima Correctional Institution. She was active in the National Council of Teachers of English, where she served as Chair of the Poetry Board for College Composition and Communication. Her continued academic presentations and articles have focused on pedagogy, especially the pedagogy of teaching creative writing in prison and in on contemporary poetry. Most recently, she has been studying how the internet has affected poetry and how poetry has been affecting the internet. 

In 1980 out of an abiding belief in public poetry workshops, Diane joined the Ohio Arts Council Artists in Residence program.  From this post, she has taught creative writing to students in grades K through 12 and to their teachers. Because of her work with children and in collaboration with jazz musician Jack Taylor, she wrote a children’s musical, Talk to the Moon, which was produced by the local children’s theater in 1998.  She also led a writers workshop for inmates at the Lima Correctional Institution from 1985-2002. She considers that workshop to be a defining experience of her middle age, and its participants have performed and published nationally and won many awards, including two national Pen Prisoners Writing Awards. When she moved to the Boston area East Coast in 2003, she taught writing at Bentley University and did public creative writing residencies in a national park, schools, and colleges.

In 2010, she moved back home and into that house which her father built in Canton, Ohio, where she currently resides with her husband Paul Jude Beauvais and their packmate, Robbie Burns Beaudig. a wheaten-colored Scottish Terrier.