Tina is a journalist, poet, and author who received the Maplewood Literary Award in 2018. A 10-year veteran of The New York Times, and 17 year Maplewood resident, Kelley shared a staff Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for its “Portraits of Grief” feature profiles of victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001. The co-author of “Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope,” Kelley published her fourth book of poetry, “Rise Wildly,” in October.
Curated by: Dimitri Reyes
Featured Artist(s): Tina Kelley, Danny Shot, paulA neves, Dimitri Reyes
Poet #1 will begin by reading a poem, where poet #2 will have to recite a poem based on one of the themes from Poet #1. Poet #3 will have to recite a poem based on a theme from poet #2 and so on.
Audience participation will also be encouraged!
We hope you will all join us and bring your friends for what promises to be an excellent event!
Writing has been found to reduce anxiety, organize traumatic experiences, move us to resolution and help heal wounds. Calyx, A Journal of Literature and Art is pleased to host a series of workshops and readings with poets from CavanKerry Press — Tina Kelley, Wanda Praisner, Joan Cusack Handler and Carole Stone — to explore the rich relationship between writing and healing.
The workshops are open to interested students, faculty and staff and will take place in Teaching and Learning Commons in the Jennings Library. Students preparing submissions to Calyx are invited to bring them for possible workshopping.
3/19 @ 3:00 with Wanda S. Praisner, author of Where the Dead Are.
3/27 @ 3:00 with Joan Cusack Handler, the founder and publisher of CavanKerry Press.
3/28 @ 4:00 with Carole Stone, author of American Rhapsody.
Please contact Mary Ladany, email@example.com or 973-618-3643 for any questions or concerns.
Among the women in tank tops, backs arched, slow pacing,
Among the young men riding small wobbling bikes against traffic,
Among the rows of row homes, standing like beggars waiting for money,
Waiting furiously while they fall into gravity,
There must be some comfort.
A cat on the house-dressed lap of the woman at the window, purring,
A child born clean who can live on the milk of her mother,
on donated diapers, and sleep on the bed pushed to the wall.
But little comfort compared to what could be,
Compared to what is, six miles down Admiral Wilson Boulevard,
Where children learn Latin and spurt when their talent’s seen,
Where they play and fall asleep in quiet rooms lined with books,
Where they learn in book-filled rooms, not falling asleep,
Where they are never quoted in the paper as wanting to be
a doctor or lawyer when they grow up,
Because that’s not impossible, not surprising, not poignant.
On a street where half the houses are empty skulls,
The girls don’t see doctors until they are mothers,
And babies lick lead when they taste their fingers
or play in the dirt of the lot next door.
I sing the schools of Camden,
Where the pages of the books are softened and browned,
Where the facts in the books are no longer true,
Where the maps are the waterspots high on the ceiling,
Where the teachers are afraid, live elsewhere, leave early.
I sing the children who outnumber this city
Because they are the quickest, cheapest form of hope.
I sing the songs they might have written
if they’d been born one town over.
And on the Boulevard, I sing
More than billboards of girls with eyepatches
promising to dance on couches,
More than women at bus stops, where they can’t be arrested,
Waiting for men to use their tight-dressed curves,
More than men who walk the bridge from Philly,
without gloves or socks, in search of warm meals.
I sing day care, a movie theater and no discount liquor,
A supermarket, a bank that lends, no go-go,
And a fence down the median, so five more each year
Can live instead of dying for the cheaper sixpack.
For more of Tina’s work: https://cavankerrypress.org/product/abloom-awry/
Today, Verse Daily featured a poem from author Tina Kelley‘s chapbook.
Read the poem below.
The Music of Places Going on Without Us
Four times every minute the twelve-tanned sea shoots a white fusetip
of breaking wave north, scrambling in a roar. Next the pounding
through the gorge resounds, the waterfall hitting rock slope,
splaying with white weight, loud yarn spilling. At 5 a.m., noon, midnight.
The heartbeat, rising gurgle of stomach bubbles, guitar chords,
muffled laughter, singing of the national anthem, occasional sloppy-galoshes
oflove: the womb. The storm coming up across the field: road machinery? Hail.
The maternal nag of hangers pushed across the closet bar in the hot upstairs.
Cicadas and their nightmare noise closer to the brain than the sound of swallowing,
all erased by the cymbalcrash of diving into the pool. All go on somewhere now.
“Dixie” possesses the pipe organ daily in Luray Caverns for tourists
hundreds of feet underfoot. The cat who ran away is purring …
Please visit Verse Daily for the full poem.
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.
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.