Writing & Scholarship

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Pressed Against All That Nothing, Yak Press 2015

The lyric poems in this chapbook work to document a brother’s descent into addiction and subsequent recovery, exploring the nature of brotherhood amidst struggle and overcoming.


“Cody Deitz understands something about interiority—that ‘the subconscious is always a terrain’—and he fluidly moves between the psychic space of the shared dark and that brighter horizon where ‘the sun becomes the symbol it always wanted to be, / that slippery metaphor for god, shooting into the well’s eye.’ These are poems of addiction, recovery, fraternal love, and a Ginsberg-like faith that there is salvation in poetry. The genius of Cody Deitz is in his intimate, meditative act of witness, far-seeing yet detailed. He offers an undeniably unifying force of human spirit where we learn the pain and possibility of ‘unmaking. . .the terrible.’ Like the ‘steel refrigerator / with its cord buried in dirt,’ these poems, too, seem ‘plugged. . .into the world.’ ”     ~ Leilani Hall, author of Swimming the Witch

“Cody Deitz’s collection documents a brother’s disappearance into addiction, a black hole around which the family spins. After stints in prison, psych care, and rehab, he reemerges barely recognizable — a figure that, like Zeno’s paradox, the speaker can never fully reach, ‘the idea of progress // suddenly unfathomable.’ These events are embodied and presented in vivid, resonant details: Joshua trees, shoe prints in desert sand, the mouths of empty Marlboro packs, the crackle of a prison telephone. In his precise and yet discursive verse, Deitz’s poetic attention is ‘More than turning on a light—it’s becoming // the bulb and the switch and the finger. . .’ ”     ~ Heidi Czerwiec, author of Self-Portrait as Bettie Page and A is for A-ké, The Chinese Monster

Reading from the book, recorded for a reading:

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Individual Poems:

Letter from the Snowfields,” in North Dakota Quarterly, 2018

By that Spurious Lyricism: Translations of Three Alberto Girri Poems” in North Dakota Quarterly, 2017

Winter Lines” in After the Pause, 2017

Suggestion” in Heron Tree, 2016

“Fireworks” at the Poetry Foundation, 2015 (selected by John Gallaher for Academy of American Poets University Prize)

New Religion,” “Concrete, Twin Towers Jail,” in Literary Orphans, 2015

Tree-houses,” Split Lip Magazine, 2015

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The Nervous Breakdown, October 2017

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GRAD Day 2017: Graduate Research Poster Session

I designed this poster and presented it on March 2, 2017 as part of a public scholarship event through the University of North Dakota Graduate School, highlighting the ongoing research of graduate students from all disciplines. My poster showcases a poem from my ongoing project along with some background on the lyrical poetry tradition.