Ugly Duckling Presse

Death Centos
Death Centos

Diana Arterian

illustrated by Natalia Porter

Poetry | $12 $10
Buy"This is the undying frictioned beauty of Zombie poetics."

Arterian employs the ancient framework of the cento—a collage form that borrows the language of other authors—to mine the last words of a hundred people, mixing historical figures and death-row inmates through a weaving of their immortal utterances. 

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Excerpt ˇ


What's that? Do I
look strange?

Come, come, no weakness;
let's be a man to the last.

I must go in, the fog
is rising.

[Lord Byron, Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson]

Close ˆ

About the Author

Diana Arterian
Photo credit: Ali-Reza Nusrat
Diana Arterian was born and raised in Arizona. She currently resides in Los Angeles where she is a Doctoral Candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. She holds an MFA in poetry from CalArts, where she was a Beutner Fellow. Diana is a Poetry Editor and Infidel Poetics Editor at Noemi Press, and a Managing Editor and founding member of Ricochet. Her work has been recognized with fellowships from Caldera, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. She is the the co-editor of Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics (Ricochet, 2016), and her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Circumference, Denver QuarterlyLos Angeles Review of Books, and The Volta, among others.

Other Contributors

Natalia Porter
Photo credit: John M. Brewer

Natalia Porter is a Mexican designer and visual artist. Her work includes sculptural and functional objects as well as installations, all evolving from a combination of technological processes with traditional techniques and craft. Natalia’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including: MoMA Design Stores, Queens Museum of Art, Elizabeth Foundation for The Arts, Latin American Design Foundation. Her work has been published by The New York TimesJapan Architect, and Princeton Architectural Press.

Advance Praise

Here, Joe Hill and John Brown meet Emily Dickinson in that moment before the lights go out.—Mark Novak
Death Centos, is like all crossings, a chiasmus—put another way, there is no crossing that is not crossed out, no last words not picked up and put out. Reiteration, Arterian reminds us, is relentless réanimation. This is the undying frictioned beauty of Zombie poetics.—Vanessa Place