1913 Press | 2017

Playing Monster :: Seiche was the Editors’ Selection for the 1913 Press Prize for First Books in 2016. This is a book-length poem weaving many threads, but predominantly childhood experiences with an abusive father and, as an adult, increasingly aggressive acts made toward the speaker’s mother by strange men. Playing Monster :: Seiche is a piece of noir poetics. It is memoir. It is documentary.


  • Arterian weaves a family narrative of devastating clarity from letters, found text, memories, and more in her striking debut. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Playing Monster :: Seiche is a devastating classic. It’s like reading a detective story or “thriller” but with real pain, real consequences. — Alice Notley
  • At once ambitious and restrained, Playing Monster :: Seiche demonstrates not only Arterian’s lyrical range and knack for producing work with a certain epic energy, but also her ability to pair delicate content…with a form expressive of its deeper energetic truth.
    — Allie Rowbottom
  • Diana Arterian’s poetry is shockingly almost-gentle as it speaks about family violence and childhood terror.
    — Sarah Vap
  • Tender and cruel, the pathos in here animates me and the writing hunts me. And so I gratefully surrender.
    — Lily Hoang
  • By looking terror right in the face and saying what she sees, [Arterian] puts it under her power. This achievement, what she does here—it makes other writing seem like child’s play. — Allison Cobb

Et cetera

Essays & Dialogues