Meet Diane Luby Lane
Meet the Muse: Diane Luby Lane ~ Poet, Actress, Author, Founder & Executive Director of Get Lit – Words Ignite, and a One-Woman Show
Get Lit was inspired by several people. One is Broadway actress Viveca Lindfors, who taught me the value of learning and performing what I call “classic ” poems. Another is James Kass, who founded the youth spoken word movement Youth Speaks in San Francisco. Yet another is actress and legendary acting coach Susan Batson, who gave me the space to develop characters and write monologues, resulting in my first book, which explored 3-minute character-driven personal narratives. Finally I must mention prized Chicano poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, who took me to detention centers, high schools, and universities throughout America, where I opened for his performances with my one-woman show about books, Born Feet First. It was here I connected to schools that later accepted & adopted the program that evolved into Get Lit.
Who are some of your personal muses?
Walt Whitman, Malcolm X, The Virgin Guadalupe, and George Washington Carver.
What has been one of your greatest life lessons?
What do you know to be true?
All that matters is love. And work. And love.
Do you have a favorite poem?
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass. And I like Galway Kinnell’s “Saint Francis and the Sow.”
You inspire youth to speak their truth – why is that so important?
Who they are is beautiful. They are here to bless the world. They have to know that. And take responsibility for the planet and the world. By telling your story in an artful way, you move from pain to power. That’s the work.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Persistent, loving, visionary.
How would you like to remembered?
As someone who gave it all they had and loved and lifted the world.
How has poetry changed your life?
Poetry connected me to other like-minded souls both, living and dead who inspired me to keep going, keep growing, and keep believing in something larger than whatever smaller set of circumstances were my temporary reality. It connected me with the eternal and saved me from my own aloneness. We are all one family, and we belong together.
In the words of Lucile Clifton,
“and the grains of dust would gather themselves
along the streets and spell out: these too are your children this too is your child.”
Thank you for the inspiration. xo, muse
Diane is Founder/Executive Director of Get Lit-Words Ignite, Southern California’s leading nonprofit presenter of literary performance, education and teen poetry programs; and the Get Lit Players, an award-winning classic teen poetry troupe, who perform for over 20,000 teens each year. In addition, Lane is author of Words of Women, a compendium of original monologues for women that is published by Samuel French. She has appeared in numerous films, television shows, and national commercials. Her critically acclaimed one-woman show, Deep Sea Diving (AKA Born Feet First), has toured high schools and colleges across America.