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Photo of Deanna Nikaido Deanna Nikaido is a graduate from Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA with a degree in Illustration and the author of two collections of poetry, "Voice Like Water" and "Vibrating With Silence." Voice Like Water was selected in the Small Press Bookwatch July 2009 by Midwest Book Review. Her poems have appreared in several anthologies and journals and she is a recipient of the 2010 summer Bookindaday Writing Fellowship in Tuscany, Italy and the 2012 summer fellowship in Bahia, Brazil. Her recent children's book about endangered animals published in Feb 2017 with National Geographic titled "Animal Ark", is a collaborative effort with Newberry Award winner Kwame Alexander; Mary Rand Hess and Joel Sartore.

Deanna served as coach and design specialist for Book-in-a-day and Kwame Alexander's Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop teaching students the fundamentals of creative writing, through poetry and student-run publication ( also as regional coordinator for Poetry Out Loud in the state of Maryland ( She currently sits on the board of Artblocks (

She is a deep admirer of the Persian poet Rumi and was a guest poet at the Visionary Art Museums 800th Birthday Celebration for Rumi; and co-hosted a special celebration on December 17th, his ascension date with visual artist Michael Green in 2006. She has always loved the mystery of linking the inner world with the outer and looks for ways to throw paint on the invisible. For her, the visual and literary arts are both listening processes, each unplanned certainties where pen point or brush intersect the page and conversation begins.



“"Poems are all about emotion, and there is no stronger emotion than love. "VOICE LIKE WATER" is a collection of poetry by author Deanna Nikaido,using her passion and compassion for life and the word. Enhanced with a CD of audio performances of her favorites from the volume, "VOICE LIKE WATER" is an excellant choice for poetry fans everywhere."”

Midwest Book Review
Small Press Bookwatch July 2009



“Deanna Nikaido's noble debut is full of visual melody. Listen closely, and you will hear these colorful poems sing 'like birds sing,' and dance right off the page. Plus they look good too, like golden lemons or children playing on a Summer night. 'VIBRATING WITH SILENCE' embodies a voice so honest and graceful, like Rumi says, 'you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

Author of CRUSH: LOVE POEMS & THE CROSSOVER (2014 Newberry Award Winner)



“Keen intellect meets fathomless heart, encased in grace. Neither east nor west, this is citzen of the world poetry - at its esoteric best.”

Founder, American Visionary Art Museum



“I don't typically write reviews - I'm ungainly about it and am not nearly to-the-core pin pointy as a reviewer should be. But some poetry collections appear - often from out of the blue that make me chirp. They deserve all efforts of acclaim.

Ms. Nikaido's first collection, 'VIBRATING WITH SILENCE', has the golden touch of craft. It has reverence along with a shyness that's belied by the clearest of eyes. It has the grace of a seed. And yes, indeed, it has smarts.

Congratulations Writer's Lair Books for assembling such a debut. I'm grateful.”




“Somehow, some way, the word please was transformed from politeness to pitiful and thank you was altered to become a sign of weakness. Gentleness has gone out of fashion and may God help quiet. In poetry and in our other forms of communications, attitude, which translates to loud, angry, I'm-not-taking-any-crap-from-anyone, has assumed a certain preeminence.

I don't like it.

In the interest of semi-full disclosure, this editor, when young, often put his hands over his ears and went inside when his father started the mower, so I have a predisposition to quietude and contemplation. It is with this in mind and in heart that the sixth issue of "Fledgling Rag" features Deanna Nikaido. Deanna's poetry is gentle and passionate. We often forget that passion is frequently whispered and not screamed, and these poems speak softly with a profound truth and clarity about our personal lives and relationships. When reading her poems, I want to hold them gently, like a child, and simultaneously sit at their feet and absorb their wisdom. You can provide your own adjectives after reading her work.”




“'VIBRATING WITH SILENCE,' is spiritually resting in a metaphoric language of longing and love. This fine book of poetry, written by Deanna Nikaido, is reminscent of the works of Rumi, who Ms. Nikaido seemingly admires. Her "tribute to Rumi" indicates such a relationship.

With no outright or obvious intention of mimicking Rumi, Ms. Nikaido presents her own uique style with beauty and intense emotion.

The poetry is love, united by 4 categories: 1)Seed; 2)Harvest; 3) Infusion; 4)Ceremony. "Seed" speaks of emptiness and longing - perhaps of a love lost, or a of a need. "Harvest" asks and answers questions from lessons learned. "Infusion" hints of the beginnings of a relationship with another entering her realm of hope and love. "Ceremony" - a perfect ending - acceptance and fulfillment of love in all its forms.

The story is complete, embraced by poetic harmony and grace.”

Richland, WA