Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! (Now kiss me, stupid)

May you be in the right place with the right person.

Happy 2015!  

~ Kells

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Monday, December 29, 2014

The Problem with Brandy Alexanders & A Note from John Lennon

John Lennon was already drunk when he arrived at L.A.'s Troubador nightclub on March 11th, 1974. A few Brandy Alexanders later and he was even heckling the main act, the Smothers Brothers, whilst being egged on by his friend, Harry Nilsson.One of many apology notes written the next day and sent to those involved along with expensive bunches of flowers. This particular note reached actress Pam Grier.

Full story on Letters of Note:

~ Kells

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Fitzgeralds!

F. Scott, Zelda, and Scottie Fitzgerald in Paris, 1925.

I remember the trees we had in Europe: one Christmas we spent drinking under the gold statue of Victor Emmanuel in Rome, lost in time and space & the majestic prettiness of that square before the cavernously echoing Piazza Cologna. The tree was covered with silver bells which rang hauntedly through the night by themselves…..and we had a tree in Paris covered with mushrooms & with snowy houses which was fun. There were myriad birds of paradise on the tree with spun glass tails. And Nanny kept busily admonishing us about the French customs: how they did not give gifts at Christmas but at New Years…..then we had a tree on the Avenue McMahon which Nanny and I decorated between sips of champagne until neither we nor the tree could hold any more of fantaisie or decor. We kept our decorations for years in painted toy boxes and when the last of the tails wilted and the last house grew lopsided, it was almost a bereavement.

Zelda to Scottie, 1947


And Merry Christmas from me, as well!

~ Kells

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve. Peace, Love, & Light Always.

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart...filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.” 
        ― Bess Streeter AldrichSong of Years

~ Kells

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gifts for Poets & Readers: FIRE ON HER TONGUE: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry #books

We're still pretty proud of this anthology, FIRE ON HER TONGUE, at Two Sylvias Press.

It's been taught in classrooms, readers have given us amazing feedback and said it has inspired their own poem.  It was the very FIRST eBook anthology of contemporary poetry and it includes over 70 women poets writing today!

Here's the list:

Kim Addonizio, Deborah Ager, Ivy Alvarez, Nin Andrews, Elizabeth Aoki, Elizabeth Austen, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Dorothy Barresi, Judith Barrington, Mary Biddinger, Elizabeth Bradfield, Ronda Broatch, Gloria Burgess, Jill Crammond, Barbara Crooker, Rachel Dacus, Madeline DeFrees, Susan Elbe, Patricia Fargnoli, Annie Finch, Kathleen Flenniken, Rachel Contreni Flynn, Rebecca Foust, Suzanne Frischkorn, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Maya Ganesan, Arielle Greenberg, Kate Greenstreet, Lola Haskins, Eloise Klein Healy, Jane Hirshfield, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Anna Maria Hong, Holly Hughes, Ann Batchelor Hursey, Luisa A. Igloria, Jill McCabe Johnson, Tina Kelley, Janet Norman Knox, Keetje Kuipers, Dorianne Laux, Jenifer Browne Lawrence, Kate Lebo, Carol Levin, Rebecca Loudon, Erin Malone, Marjorie Manwaring, Frances McCue, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, January Gill O’Neil, Alicia Ostriker, Nancy Pagh, Alison Pelegrin, Susan Rich, Rachel Rose, Natasha Sajé, Peggy Shumaker, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, Patricia Smith, Ann Spiers, A.E. Stallings, Joannie Kervran Stangeland, Marilyn L. Taylor, Molly Tenenbaum, Ann Tweedy, Nance Van Winckel, Katrina Vandenberg, Sarah Vap, Kary Wayson, Katharine Whitcomb, Wendy Wisner, Rachel Zucker.  

~ Kells

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Literary Gifts: Grammatically Correct Owl T-shirt

This store focuses on two of my favorite things-- grammar & science! Love the owl.

From the Etsy store 

Owl T-Shirt $22

Grammatical Art: grammar and science prints, tees, and cards for the nerd in all of us.

I am combining my love of grammar, graphic design, and science to bring you Grammatical Art! Here, you can find prints and cards of your favorite rules and elements that are perfect for the grammar or science enthusiast. 

I am transitioning all of my t-shirts to American Apparel shirts! They have a great feel and are made in the US. If you need something different because their sizing can be a little small, please feel free to send me a convo for a custom order.

From the Etsy store 

Owl T-Shirt $22
~ Kells

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gifts for Poets & Readers: ROME by Dorothea Lasky #book

I adore this collection. It's tough and sweet, it's funny and smart. My favorite things.

I recommend this book to readers who want something new and surprising. This book will offend some and charm others. I'm on the charmed side. I like her style, her voice, her sass, and her strength.  I carry this book in my purse. Huge compliment.

A poem from ROME originally published at Body Lit:


Girl, I heard that you got a place
Where you tell jokes, ala Eddie Murphy, 1985
But how do you do that
I am Eddie Murphy
I heard
That you do wine tastings with Eddie Murphy
In the vineyards of Italia
And I am confused
I am not there
I am Eddie Murphy
I am snorting cocaine off of tanned Italian backsides
While ten young men
Suck my gigantic dick
For two hundred hours
Do you eat a fine steak dinner with Eddie Murphy
But I am still hungry
And it is 4 am on the West side
I am going home to my majestic marble linoleum
I tell the jokes here
And if you want to
Come into my house
Introduce yourself first
Don’t just go walking in
And telling the people you know them
Or you are the one they have been waiting for
They aren’t waiting for anything
I make royalties on my sort of thing
I give them what they need
We are brethren
We are together
This is not about you
You write a punchline
Go up in front of the crowd
Say, I am the thing that makes you turn
But honey
It is a lie when you do it
You are the person outside the house
I am the one
Gracious enough
To let you in


DOROTHEA LASKY is the author of ROME (W.W. Norton/ Liveright) andThunderbird, Black Life and AWE, all from Wave Books. She currently is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn.


“Dorothea Lasky's 
ROME is dark, fearlessly frank, unabashedly vulnerable and full of real live heart. In line after incantatory line, these poems catch me up, and the raw, stark truth of them holds me rapt, like a spell—something meant to console even as it chastens—and so I understand that what they are built from, and building upon, is the animating energy all true language houses. This is unforgettable work from a poet of urgent and inimitable voice.” (Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars)

“Beginning with her debut, AWE, Dorothea Lasky has been perfecting a simplicity that is as learnedly classical as it is up to the moment, as panther-like in its elegance as it is, like a panther, brutal. 'In face of everything,' she warns, 'I write loud words,' but under their loudness, as in their simplicity, a great complexity of insight and feeling converges and resounds. Love, wrath, desire, happiness, sorrow, despair and even disgust—all the human affects are called on and considered here, and in elemental form, tempered only by wit (never by politeness or piety). No one else is writing poetry as boldly colored, unabashed, and wildly human as Lasky's is, and ROME is her best book yet.” (Timothy Donnelly, author of The Cloud Corporation)

~ Kells

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifts for Readers & Poets: PRECISE by Tina Kelley

I'm a huge Tina Kelley fan, so it is surprising for me to say that I just got this book last month! I somehow missed buying my copy.

But it's lovely and beautiful.  Tina writes in a rich way, long lines that warm me like blankets. Yes, blankets! I always feel warm and full after reading her work, no matter what the subject.

Here's a poem by Tina, so you can get a sense of how she writes:

The Novice Insomniac, to the Crescent Moon
No more four inside-out mouths, inconsolable.
They’ve stopped, so I start my coronation anthem
to the future, wedding song for moon and earth shadow,
slimmest sky claw, lid of tight sleeper, more regal
than dawn. The others splay their riffs over sunrise
with that smug pride of early risers, excited by a mere day.
My eyelash, egg-crack, heralds a month, must be coaxed in
with vigor, over pornographic peonies, over other proofs
that the known is never flat, but shaped like song
spreading in resonant dusk, as we, the musically insane,
scribble our songs over the yard. So future, come quick,
come quick. Bring warm branches, shifting swarms,
sturdy fledglings, soft landings, rain, soaring. I sing
until I sleep mid-note, no reason to pause ever, forever.

this was from the journal ONE.
~ Kells

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Literary Gifts for Poets & Reader: Reckless Lovely by Martha Silano


Hope is the thing with

Martha Silano
an important message, a pressing urgency
I reckon Hope’s entitled to. Hope says Hello,
my dear, and it goes from there: how are you,
hope you’re well, bit hot over here in Burkina
Faso, then Hope’s done with asking after
my chargers, my panes, the windstorm nudging
my touch-and-go, has no time for me
or my closely-monitored percolations. Hope’s
not perched; she’s pouncing, marooned
to the tune of $4.5 million. But Hope’s right:
her choosing me is a question she knows
she must answer. And big surprise: the Almighty
willed it, decided against her two sadistic aunts
because, Hope says, I’m different, won’t sell
her dead mom’s home to a Mr. Molson Steven
(though who can say for sure?). Hope’s favorite
language? Waiting to hear you soonest. Hope’s
solution: hide behind a bush so when I call
she can answer, or whatever (it’s against the law).
Just like staying in the prison, says Hope before
signing off in the name of a nearby privilege,
in the name of what I need from you is this.

Reckless Lovely by Martha Silano published by Saturnalia Books

Martha Silano's poetry collection begins with The Big Bang and ends with the unleashing of twelve million bees from a jack-knifed semi. In between Reckless Lovely ricochets from Renaissance masterworks to amusement parks, from fissures to fission, praising everything from peregrines to parameciums. Reveling in galaxies and marveling at Earth's miracles, Reckless Lovely opens the door to the radiantly inscrutable and the splendidly baffling.

~ Kells

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Favorite Things List for Poets, Writers, Readers, and Literary Lovers: Gifts Guide

Oprah does her Favorite Things List, here's mine (specifically for poets, writers, authors, and the creative types...)


The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice 
by Martha Silano and Kelli Russell Agodon

Had to mention this, especially with the NEW YEAR around the corner 
-- 366 writing prompts so you can write a poem a day! 


Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Everyday by Todd Henry

Todd does the Accidental Creative Podcasts.  Also has the book Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At a Moment's Notice, which I recommend as well!


The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
A friend bought me this and I was amazed at the quality.  It looked as if the actual letter/poem in her writing is on the page.  This book makes me want to cry when I open it because it's that beautiful.


If you struggle with balance, living a life as a poet, writer, or artist, my book, Hourglass Museum explores that subject.  And



and eBook!

Over 70 (seventy!) of the best women poets writing today!  I'm incredibly proud of this collection! 

Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry is the first electronic collection (now in a print version) of poems by women writing today. Poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy, Co-Editors of Crab Creek Review and Co-Founders of Two Sylvias Press, have collaborated on this ground-breaking literary project. Featuring over 70 of the most extraordinary poets from a variety of backgrounds and whose ages span from thirteen to ninety-one, Fire On Her Tongue showcases superbly crafted poems exploring the contemporary woman’s experience. Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry includes poems by Kim Addonizio, Nin Andrews, Elizabeth Austin, Madeline DeFrees, Patricia Fargnoli, Annie Finch, Kate Greenstreet, Lola Haskins, Jane Hirshfield, Keetje Kuipers, Dorianne Laux, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Alicia Ostriker, Susan Rich, Natasha Sajé, Peggy Shumaker, Martha Silano, Patricia Smith, A.E. Stallings, Rachel Zucker, and many other accomplished poets. Fire On Her Tongue is an amazing resource for any reader or student who wants to explore an in-depth selection of work from some of today’s strongest women poets.



Aqua Notes:
These are in my shower and I love them.  Only $7.95 too.  Mine have lasted a long time.


Teva Flip-Flops.

$18.  Other colors may be less (or more)

I know, it doesn't seem writerly. But I love these flip-flops and they are part of my spring/summer, into fall uniform.  Super comfy and durable. I wear them with everything (note: I live in the NW and can get away with this. More stylish cities be warned.)


DogBone Neck Pillow-- $12.50

Everyone in my family has these. If I go on a trip and don't have it, I freak out. I use it every night for reading. My husband uses his also as a pillow.

I have been known to yell, "Where's my dog bone?!" before bed.  I will never live without one of these again.

Note: these are a little bigger than the one I originally got, which is no longer for sale. It had a more cotton fabric.  That said, I use this one when mine has been misplaced and it works well.



Who Does She Think She Is?  DVD Documentary $14
I watch this 2-3 times a year. I recommend it every year.  For the creative woman/mother in your life.  It's all about the struggle to create and be a mom.  Fantastic and inspiring.


Midnight in Paris DVD $7.49
I love this movie and I'm always recommending this. I've watched it into the double-digits.  Love the literary cameos.


~ Kells

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Gifts for Poets & Readers: Cloud Pharmacy by Susan Rich

Cloud Pharmacy by Susan Rich

I was already a fan of Susan Rich's work, starting her first collection, THE CARTOGRAPHER'S TONGUE, and now CLOUD PHARMACY has completely drawn me in.

The poems tackle many topics from love to aging, travel and home, fire to photography, but always with these gorgeous beginnings such as "Listen, to walk on this lake is simply practice..." and later from the same poem, "Love, watch me, as we show ourselves, go/beyond deer paths, frozen fog, the bomber moon--" The poems are steeped with image and story, but they dig deeper, there is a series of poems on the photographer Hannah Maynard who in the 1880's and 1890's did a series of self portraits.

Maybe this is the gift of this collection, each page offers you something more, from clouds to camellias, two sisters "sexy in black dresses," the poems returned to me continually "calling my name through the watery sky."

Truly a beautiful book for every bookshelf. I highly recommend this new collection.

Cloud Pharmacy by Susan Rich $16, published by White Pine Press

More praise for Cloud Pharmacy:

"Cloud Pharmacy is a book of lyric fire. In our epoch of quick and shallow literary conversation it is rare to come across such level of attentiveness as one finds in this book."—Ilya Kaminsky
"In a central sequence, Rich explores nineteenth-century photographer Hannah Maynard's proto-surrealistic images, looking in grief-heavy places for revelation. The result is wonderfully strange and unsettling; this is Rich's most haunting collection yet."—Kathleen Flenniken
"Rich's gorgeous poems affix moments, both magnificent and minute. And in exquisite and playful poems, a pageant of a life in process develops before our eyes."—Oliver de la Paz
Susan Rich is the author of three previous collections of poetry. She lives in Seattle, Washington

~ Kells

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