Fling Diction

Fling Diction is a book about the vulnerability of desire; these poems explore different styles of relationships, including queer love, polyamory, familial drama, dog and human companionship, and longing in isolation. The characters find and lose each other in rural and urban settings; their experiences are intensified by the sensuality and ferocity of nature. This book is a record of the speaker’s blunders, embraces, and revelations as she seeks knowledge of the elusive other.

  • Launching at AWP 2024 in Kansas City, MO, Cannon will be the featured reader
    for GWP’s 10th Anniversary Reading
  • Submissions for the following awards are planned: Lambda, Vermont Book Award, PEN, and the New England Book Award
  • Book Reviews: Seven Days, Green Mountains Review, Rhino Poetry, North American Review, Brazenhead Review, Adroit Journal, Boston Globe, etc. 

Advance Praise for Fling Diction

“In reading these poems, if you find yourself pulled by the undertow of Cannon’s sensuous relationship to the world around them, then know your own appetite will soon enlarge. These poems name the luxuriant grounds by which a self, curious to touch creation, defines itself. Such vulnerability is the hallmark of living. ‘Be careful with me,’ she says in one poem, ‘I’m on the verge of overflowing my own vessel.’ Tender, intimate, and unguarded, one easily falls into the gravitational light of her lines.”

–Major Jackson, author of Razzle Dazzle, among others

“Frances Cannon’s poems are framed closely within her particular, sensual vision of the world. This lens delights in environment: the yawning tongue of orchids, velvet cheeks of lady slippers, sun-bleached exoskeletons of crabs, and cinnamon ferns with sharp teeth. Here, the world is the self, ‘blushing and begging to be touched.’ These poems are interested in love, friendship, and the continuum of queerness as it leaps from the body to the very landscape. There is a Vermont Dionysian speaker at work, treating herself to soft-serve creemees, and recalling childhood’s enthrallments that still seem vividly at work in the adult self. Here, love is about celebrating one another’s weirdness, and obsessions, making them into something shared—which is exactly what Fling Diction’s poems are: instances of ‘mirroring one another’s expressions, genders, textures, passions.’ In reading these poems we can happily ‘grow weird together, singing the same erratic tune.’” 

Bianca Stone, poet, author of What is Otherwise Infinite

“The poems in Frances Cannon’s Fling Diction move breathlessly through an ever-changing landscape of desire. This is a collection suffused with erotic tension, intent observation, and naked honesty. In these poems boundaries of conventional relationships are disrupted and what emerges is a voice ravenous for love, and for pleasure. Here is the vibrant freedom that is found when one is ‘without a diagram / for this shifting shape.’”

—Alison Prine, author of Steel

“‘I need to be swept up and held by arms as solid as the frame of an impenetrable house.’

This is a line from interdisciplinary writer, editor, education, and artist, Frances Cannon’s latest work, Fling Diction. And though that line is attached to the prose poem,  ‘A house for Narcissus,’ I find myself revisiting that line as a way of anchoring the whole collection in the juxtaposition between being ‘swept up’ and ‘held,’ we are with and without in matters of human connection, intimacy and our interconnectedness within nature with Cannon’s work and what a ride we are in for! If we even take even part of the title, ‘fling,’ the word is attached to Old Swedish and connected to ‘strike’ as well as the other uses that we know of: throwing, hurling all the way to the vernacular related to what we know as a hook-up. Within this collection, we are taken and the words strike our hearts with images that link to our inevitability of fantasy and how it imprints on us like the poem ‘Tease’ and the way it asks yet dances, ‘Let me keep that, at least,’ speaking to the hope tethered to a moment. Other work like ‘The River Incident,’ ‘Stories I’m Not Writing,’ right until the end with ‘While you’re away,’ take us, sweep and holds us while also casting us away yet tethering us to all of the beautiful complexities that is the heart entangled with bodies that can’t help but to also be connected to our natural world. The other jewels within the collection are illustrated across a range of Cannon’s controlled poetic skill from every word to every positioning of each verse to the range of form paired with intermittent visual art pieces by Cannon that also tie to another layer which is the beauty of this collection: the danger and the sheer erotism that is nature itself.

Come. Be taken. Be swept up and held by Cannon’s latest work.”

—Shanta Lee, author of Black Metamorphoses (Etruscan Press, 2023)
and 
This is How They Teach You How to Want It…
The Slaughter (Small Harbor Publishing, 2024)

“What an elegant, hungry gaze Frances Cannon has crafted here! Fling Diction is as much a field guide to the natural world as it is an almanac of desire and longing, appetites and threats, unions and reunions. Frances Cannon’s poems are precise, wise, and haunting, the self-reckoning over and over with self, gender, other, lover– ‘someone for whom I am always longing.’ I lost myself in these poems and was thrilled to find myself wherever the poems landed me, often swimming, naked, shapeshifting. ‘Here, a myriad of alien bodies: chanterelles in the moss, puffballs on a log, and a choir of backlit oyster mushrooms singing their spores into the wind.’ Here, poems for finding one’s place in the world.”

—Kerrin McCadden, author of American Wake

“Reading Frances Cannon’s Fling Diction, I kept thinking of Whitman’s multitudes. A verdant and hungry queer ecology lives in these pages, and I found myself enchanted by this speaker so determined to experience the world, her brave heart both open and bruised.”

 —Eve Alexandra, author of The Drowned Girl


About the Author

Frances Cannon is an interdisciplinary writer, editor, educator, and artist. She is the Mellon Science and Nature Writing Fellow at Kenyon College, 2023 – 2025. She teaches at Burlington City Arts and edits for Green Writers Press, Onion River Press, and Maple Tree Press. She recently served as the Managing Director of the Sundog Poetry Center in Vermont. She has taught at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Champlain College, the Vermont Commons School, the University of Iowa, and as a visiting lecturer at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. She has an MFA in creative writing from Iowa and a BA in poetry and printmaking from the University of Vermont. Her published books include: Walter Benjamin Reimagined, MIT Press, The Highs and Lows of Shapeshift Ma and Big-Little Frank, Gold Wake Press, Tropicalia, Vagabond Press, Predator/Play, Ethel Press, Uranian Fruit, Honeybee Press, Sagittaria, Bottlecap Press, Image Burn, a self-published art book, and Fling Diction, Green Writers Press. She has worked for The Iowa Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Believer, and The Lucky Peach. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Poetry Northwest, The North American Review, The Iowa Review, The Green Mountain Review, Vice, Lithub, The Moscow Times, The Examined Life Journal, Gastronomica, Electric Lit, Edible magazine, North American Review, Fourth Genre, Rhino Poetry, and The Kenyon Review.    

Author’s Website: frankyfrancescannon.com
Instagram: @frankyfrancescannon
Twitter: @francesartist


SPECS
Poetry
Fling Diction by Frances Cannon
Softcover
ISBN: 979-8-9876631-5-8
Trim: 6 x 8
Pages: 138
Price: $16.95
Publication Date: February 7, 2024
Distributor: IPG/Chicago.
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & PR: Dede Cummings, dede@greenwriterspress.com

Distributor: IPG; also available through Follett/Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can pre-order directly from Bookshop.org, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can also order through IPG:
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814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
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To request an advance reader copy—digital or print—email dede@greenwriterspress.com