Tucked away in Diannely Antigua’s podcast room, a framed quote by Rainer Maria Rilke sits on the wall: “Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going, no feeling is final”—a quote that perfectly encapsulates who she is.
Diannely Antigua is a woman of many talents. In addition to being a published author, podcaster and Duckfeet enthusiast, she is also the current Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH—the youngest and first woman of color to hold the title.
Descended from Dominican roots, Diannely was born and raised in Haverhill, Massachusetts. She characterizes herself as a true Virgo, obsessed with cleanliness and organization. Growing up, she was immersed in books and started journaling at age nine. “My mother was a children’s librarian, and I was often surrounded by language, by words. It was almost impossible to not come out as a writer after having that upbringing. I owe a lot to language and a lot to words.”
She even considers poetry to have saved her in many ways. Dealing with a traumatic childhood and grappling with mental illness, poetry was a way to break free and come into her own. “I consider poetry to be my religion, and I really do think poetry has the power to heal. I think it depends on how we use it. Many things can be healing tools, and poetry was that for me.”
Her award-winning 2019 poetry collection Ugly Music is described as “a cacophonous symphony of reality, dream, trauma, and obsession.” The collection is heavily biographical, beautiful, and raw. She shares a passage from where the title was taken: “Diary entry #1: Revisitation: You’ll go to the mountain count to ten, you’ll fall on the world like an ugly music.”
On the subject of Duckfeet, she is very fond of Blåvand. “[Duckfeet] are quirky and cute. They fit right into my style, especially the Blåvand. They’re very comfortable and really go with everything. My relationship to clothing, fashion and art, they are all very much the same, and they connect to who I am as a person. If I can feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, I can feel comfortable in who I am. If I feel like I can express myself fully, I feel like I can conquer the world.”
Diannely has also recently modeled for our summer photoshoot (pictured below). Having struggled with chronic pain for a large part of her life, seeing herself in those images reminded her that her body was “worthy of a picture, not just a vessel for pain but for beauty and life.”
We’re grateful Duckfeet have made her feel confident walking into the future.