Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Check in

I have been feeling as if I've been in many places, but mostly, I've been in my head.

My big book release reading is this Sunday, October 17th at Open Books in Seattle (at 3 pm if you'd like to join me).  And I've been spending time preparing for that.

Open Books even wrote up this lovely review for their website:

Charming, self-effacing, fearlessly honest about troubled days, the voice in Kelli Russell Agodon's Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room ($16 White Pine) is both touching and endearingly brassy -- "Trust me, it's not bitterness I carry / in my blood, but the pulse and flow / of ordinary, the white picket fence / I like to call my ribcage." She has dedicated her book to "those who write letters to the world," and her own letters -- these poems -- are written as wife, mother, daughter, poet, woman who has struggled in this world and cannot help but embrace it. "But where is my life?," she asks, "I wander through it in new leather boots, / crushing the ladyslippers in my path. // When I come to a bear munching / on blackberries to fatten up for winter, I pause. // We see each other / like two shoppers at the same sale rack, / each rummaging through, trying to find / what we think we need to fill us up."

I'm not normally nervous for readings, but with this new book, I have been.  I'm reading a lot of poems that I don't have a lot of practice in reading to an audience.  I told myself that I would not read poems from this book until it was published because I didn't want to be bored of reading it before it was even in print.  The good news is that all these poems can be *mostly* new to those who come, the concern is I'm not necessarily sure how these poems will go over, how they will be received.

In the big scheme of things, I realize this book, this reading is one leaf out of many.

X number of people will see this leaf and either love it, like it or be disinterested. (Maybe some will hate it, but who hates a leaf?)  Maybe people will want to bring a similar leaf home to keep on their bookshelf or to study the leaf's lines.  Maybe some will ask me to sign the leaf and I will realize, this is a just a leaf.  Still, it's my leaf and I want it to be perfect.  But we're not talking leaves here, though I think for me, it's easier that way, to see myself, my reading as a leaf.  

One endearing brassy leaf.



  1. But think how encouraged you will be when they DO respond to your "new leaves!"
    I read some new work in San Fran and I was so nervous to do so but people responded more to my new poems than the "old" ones I felt more confident about reading - so you never know!
    And, having read both books, I think this new one is even stronger, so what's not to love?

  2. What a lovely review! Perfectly captures you and your work.

  3. Love your use of line breaks in those quoted lines :) have a great release party!

  4. Lady bugs do like to dwell on leafs. Soft and green little lotus pads. Perfect


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