Tina Kelley is the author of the poetry collections Abloom and Awry (CavenKerry Press, 2017), Precise, and the Gospel of Galore, winner of a 2003 Washington State Book award. She co-authored Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, and reported for the New York Times for 10 years, sharing a staff Pulitzer for 9/11coverage. She won the Jacar Press Chapman Competition. An open reading will follow the featured reader.
Come to hear CavanKerry Press author, Tina Kelley, on October 17, 2017 at Thursdays Are For Poetry reading at 7pm. Please visit www.classicquiche.com.
Tina Kelley’s poetry has, along with the sacred, some pique, and a spit-in-the-eye-of-death- humor. Motherhood, sketched liberally in anecdotes, is never platitudinous. These poems are a mix of seriousness and wit you’ll want to read without interruption. What I like best is the natural speech quality to these well-made poems. It’s as if you’re across the kitchen table listening to someone who’s sharing her “well warming world” with personality and intelligence.
The notes sound sad and whole, a cream of tone.
The foghorn stops but the sun does not come out.
Everything’s always next, and nothing’s now.
“Did his heart fall asleep?” Kate asks about Grampa.
The Bryant Park Reading Room hosts emerging and established poets through the summer with evening readings.
On Sept 5th, 2017, a crowd gathered to sit under the park’s trees and listen to CavanKerry Press authors read their work.
The Reading Room featured the following poets: Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Kevin Carey, and Tina Kelley and Joseph Legaspi.
Photos from Bryant Park Reading Room (Sept 5th):
The original Reading Room began in August 1935 as a public response to Depression Era job losses in New York. The New York Public Library opened the “Open Air Library” to give out-of-work businessmen and intellectuals a place to go where they did not need money, a valid address, a library card, or any identification to enjoy the reading materials.
The Reading Room closed in 1944 due to an increase in jobs and World War II. In 2003, in partnership with HSBC, Bryant Park revived the park’s Reading Room. The modern day version is modeled after the original with the additions of custom-designed carts for books, periodicals, and newspapers; public readings and programs at lunchtime and after work; and kid-sized carts and furniture for children. The programming, publications, and environment of the Bryant Park Reading Room are available to everyone for free, still without any need of cards or identification.
The Reading Room is currently putting together the 2017 literary series, which will include author appearances, poetry readings, children’s events, and much more.
The Bryant Park Reading Room hosts emerging and established poets through the summer with evening readings. Sit under the park’s London Plane trees and listen to the artists read their own work.
Tuesday, September 5, 7:00pm–8:30pm
Reading Room featuring the Poets:
Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Poet and journalist Tina Kelly returns to Elliott Bay – and Seattle – this evening to read from her new collection, Abloom & Awry (CavanKerry Press). Winner of a Washington State Book Award in 2003, for her collection, Gospel of Galore, she has also served as a reporter at The New York Times (where she won a shared staff Pulitzer Prize for coverage of 9/11). Her previous books also include Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Hope, (co-authored with Kevin Ryan), a book about Covenant House.
Seattle poet Judith Skillman, author of Prisoner of the Swifts, a Washington State Book Award Finalist, also makes a most welcome return visit tonight, and she’ll read from her new book, Kafka’s Shadow (Deerbrook Editions). Kafka’s Shadow takes the reader through Franz Kafka’s life from childhood through adulthood, as he came of age under his authoritarian father, Hermann, who desired that Franz become entrepreneurial and insensitive—in short, a replica of himself. Judith Skillman, also a fiction writer and collaborative translator, is a two time Jack Straw Fellow.
Author Tina Kelley interviewed Pattiann Rogers. She discusses her 13th collection and celebrating science in poetry. The interview was posted on the Poetry Foundation blog. Read an excerpt from the interview below.
Do you have an audience in mind when you’re writing a poem?
I do. Sometimes it’s very specific. When writing, I’m aiming for a specific communication to take place, and if I don’t imagine a communication taking place, then it’s not likely to happen. The audience can be yourself or the person you would like to be. I have four or five different audiences I imagine receiving my poem, and the audience I imagine influences the voice of my poem, the stance and the tone. If I’m writing something to please a creator, God or some being or essence that has an overall understanding of what’s happening here, like we don’t, then the voice may be prayerful or beseeching, sometimes angry, questing. It’s a prayer—“Do I understand this right?” It’s questioning, but it’s questioning a being or an entity that I imagine can answer—whether I receive an answer or not. The stance, the tone, the vocabulary shifts slightly depending on the audience I imagine. Imagining a perfect audience might produce a perfect poem!
Or if I’m writing to a lover, of course it’s a different voice altogether, maybe enticing or praising the body, erotic. Often the audience I imagine when I’m writing a description of the physical world is all those who are moved with me to celebrate the physical world. The voice is celebratory, unrestrained—“I’m happy, look at those seven large magpies all perched in that spindly little tree, this makes me happy”—just a joyful voice, and in that joy is a thank you too.
Whoever you have in mind as an audience is either going to limit that poem or have the possibility to strengthen it. For instance, people who’ve been in a workshop for a very long time begin to understand what kind of poem the workshop participants want to hear. Then a poet might unconsciously let them shape the poem with their desires. It isn’t a bad thing all the time.
What do you find to be the poetic power of lists?
I love lists. They energize me. Look at anything—wildflowers, birds, bugs, beetles, the seashore—and there are so many words, beautiful words, lyrical words describing the Earth and universe, a great resource for poets.
Read the full interview here.
BooksNJ 2017 book festival will be held on Sunday, June 11, 2017 from 1 pm – 5 pm on the grounds of the Paramus Public Library, 116 E. Century Road, Paramus, NJ. This event is free and open to the public. BooksNJ is a premier book festival in Northern New Jersey and attracts about 3,000 book lovers.
This is a rain or shine event that takes place under tents with discussion panels, keynotes, and a meet and greet area referred to as “Authors Alley.” For additional information about the festival, please visit www.booksnj.org
Author Tina Kelley will be in attendance.
Located just fifteen miles from New York City in the creative corridor of Maplewood and South Orange, the Maplewood—South Orange (MAPSO) Book Festival brings together authors, readers and book lovers from all over New Jersey, as well as New York City. The authors at the book festival range from adult to YA to children’s, both fiction and nonfiction. Featuring author “in conversations,” thought-provoking panels and an all-day dedicated children’s area, the MAPSO Book Festival is destined to become the region’s premier cultural and arts event.
The festival will be held at the Woodland in Maplewood, the South Orange Performing Arts Center,and other venues around the walkable, dynamic downtowns of Maplewood and South Orange. The festival will also feature a keynote address by best-selling popular science author Mary Roach, and a closing keynote from 2017 Caldecott Medal winner Javaka Steptoe.
Author Tina Kelley will be in attendance.
CavanKerry, a not-for-profit literary press, aims to expand the reach of poetry to a general readership by publishing works that explore the emotional and psychological landscapes of everyday life. Come enjoy recent work by publisher and poet Joan Cusack Handler, “…whose verse memoir, Orphans…tackles the big subjects – family history, aging parents, Irish Catholicism, belief and unbelief, and her own impending mortality – with a fierce, wrenching fearlessness” (poet Elizabeth Spires). She is joined by poet Tina Kelley, reading from Abloom & Awry (2017), which poet Pattiann Rogers says “presents the unrestrained curiosity and imagination of childhood in exquisite language without exaggeration or sentimentality. ” Also reading is Danny Shot whose book, Works, is due out in 2018, and whose poetry has appeared in Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. “Danny’s work highlights the joys of human life, while also tearing away sheets of denial to confront modern political and social hypocrisy…” (poet Eliot Katz).
Author Tina Kelley will be at The Classic Quiche Cafe in Teaneck.
The Classic Quiche Cafe is located by the corner of DeGraw Avenue on Queen Anne Road. Parking is available on the street and in the municipal lot across the street. Please check out our menu and enjoy what our site has to offer.
Watch the official video of Tina Kelley’s book reading this past Saturday at Words Bookstore in New Jersey!
Check out photos from the event below.
Our celebration of National Poetry Month continues with Joan Cusack Handler, Publisher and Senior Editor of CavanKerry Press, selecting a poem from Tina Kelley’s Abloom & Awry.
Read “Liking Drew” by author Tina Kelley below.
Author Tina Kelley discusses her joy of writing poetry, motherhood, her latest book “Abloom & Awry“, and takes aim at President Trump.
Read Tina Kelley’s full interview with Nin Andrews below.
Nin Andrews (NA): I love what I sensed as your joie de vivre, or your joy of writing, expressed to beautifully in this collection, and in your opening poem, “The Possible Utility of Poets.”
I especially loved the lines in which you quote your son: “The earth blooms a full inch when my son/explains, ‘A noun is basically everything. We can’t go anywhere without nouns.// They’re always next to us,’”
I wondered if you could say a few words about that poem, about your love of language and of poetry in particular.
Tina Kelley (TK): Thank you! I’m glad you sensed that! I am basically a cheerful, optimistic person, though I have a morbid streak, and I hope this book captures both angles. I love obscure words, and read through lists of them as a way to get inspired to write. I also steal shamelessly from real life, particularly from my experiences writing news and nonfiction, and especially from my kids. My son actually said that line, and I wrote it down. He’s gotten to the point where he will say something poetic and immediately urge me to write it down. He’s 12 now, and he still comes up with beautiful turns of phrases. The other day he told me I had “heathered eyes,” which I immediately stole and put in the file of “phrases that want to be in poems someday.”
RELATED: Abloom & Awry by Tina Kelley available now!
Happy National Poetry Month!
To celebrate, our Managing editor, Starr Troup selected a poem from Tina Kelley’s Abloom & Awry.
We are proud to present this poem to celebrate National Poetry Month.
Read “Tuesday Afternoon Metaphysics Lesson” by author Tina Kelley below.
Today Kate said she was drawing an angry ghost.
I asked what’s he mad at?
“Me,” she said.
“Cause I’m drawing him.”
How Heisenberg-y, as if
a spirit had hovered in the molecules
of her blue crayon tip who could’ve emerged
in any old emotional state, if that dimpled
fist had not borne down so hard.
And I know if I ask why she’s drawing him
she will holler, “yer buggin’ me!” so I just answer
what comes after G, why H, and how to draw the S.
And we place the labeled picture on the fridge,
that altar to preschool power, to delineation itself.
Did you enjoy reading this poem? Comment below.
WRA, in conjunction with the Bernardsville Public Library, hosts the
AUTHOR SERIES to engage the public with writers and the writing life.
“Tea and Conversation” is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Listen to a stimulating conversation. Ask questions. Meet the author. Engage with friends and writers in the community.
Tina Kelley’s third poetry collection, “Abloom and Awry,” is coming out this spring from CavanKerry Press. Her second collection, “Precise,” was published in 2013 by Word Press, which also published her first collection, “The Gospel of Galore,” winner of a 2003 Washington State Book Award. She co-authored “Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope,” (2012) a national bestseller about homeless young people helped by Covenant House. She was a reporter at The New York Times for ten years, shared in a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Journalism for being a part of the Times’ coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, and wrote 121 “Portraits of Grief,” short descriptions of the victims. Her writing has appeared in Audubon, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Orion, People, Poetry Northwest, Poetry East, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Best American Poetry 2009, and on the buses of Seattle Washington. She won the 2014 New Jersey Poets Prize, and lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and two children.
Abloom & Awry
by Tina Kelley
God lurks in the story of stethoscope,
kaleidoscope, microscope, but also in the punched
ache of falling apart: accidents, insanities, plot twists
surpassing human imagination. God’s the sparrow
in the convention center, the skateboard akimbo
on the freeway shoulder, the perfect paw
reaching out of the long-flat roadkill, and somehow
the father shooting his two daughters, third wife
and self, leaving the baby son safe asleep.
God is all those lost, up in the God world
being nothing, stuck between the notes.
I worship the grape molding in the bunch’s depths,
our neighbors’ ruttings and fights our baby monitor
picks up, the metastasis of laughter, cauterization
of grief, that maroon bog-shininess of ancient remains,
the magnificat of dew on lady’s mantel leaf, the cousin
born with fetus in fetu, her twin parasitizing her ovary,
the first caveman to huck a rock at his chum’s skull,
the walk Joe took, alone, to spread his arm’s ashes,
the cruelty young boys show to turtles, the suicidality
of child molesters, even pustard, that liquid dripping
from the bottle when all you really want is mustard.
I worship weird domestic ways to die,
electrocution by lovesong falling in bathtub,
infant decapitation by ceiling fan, while I praise
ways to create, painting with menstrual blood
on cave walls, zen sand art by kitty in litter,
painted toddler feet tromping on the ceiling.
I worship every reason I cried this year,
slow songs, missing Dad, children refusing
to come downstairs for their special pancakes,
adoptive mother heartbroken at a son’s sins,
also every new song I loved this year, but
most of all, if I may see, the many years to come.
“Abloom & Awry” is the title poem of her third collection, which CavanKerry is printing next year. It previously won the New Jersey Poets Prize from the Journal of New Jersey Poets in 2014.
Tina Kelley’s third poetry collection, Abloom & Awry, is coming out next spring from CavanKerry Press. She also wrote Precise and The Gospel of Galore, which won the Washington State Book Award, and co-authored Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope. She was a reporter at The New York Times for a decade.