An Urban Center in Detroit for Spiritual Renewal and Social Justice

Liberate Truth - Radiate Kindness - Love Courageously

Flaming Chalice

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit
4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
Proud member of the Cass Corridor Commons


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October 22, 2017
Strings Attached: What Connects Us
Diane Shipley DeCillis


Saudade is a Portuguese word that is almost undefinable in English. It refers to a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent—the love that remains after someone is gone. It can also apply to something that has not even happened, or something that does not and cannot exist. Author, Manuel de Melo calls it: "a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy.” This word contains an emotional thread of connection. A universally shared feeling, difficult to express: Immigrants who become homesick upon seeing something that reminds him or her of motherland, the place where they’ve felt most at home even as they are overjoyed to be part of this new free country. Many accept this, but not without saudade. Inspired by the 7th principle of Unitarianism, I look forward to discussing separation, attachment, and connection, which are salient themes in my poetry and stories.

Diane DeCillis’ poetry collection, Strings Attached (Wayne State Univ. Press, 2014) has been honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2015, won The 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award for poetry, and was a finalist for the Forward Indie Fab Book Award for poetry. Her poems have been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, and Best American Poetry. Poems and essays have appeared in CALYX, Evansville Review, Minnesota Review, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut Review, Gastronomica, Rattle and others. She's currently working on a musical about a sugar addict.

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