In these extraordinary new poems Kelle Groom rejects consolation in favor of an expanding definition of love. Groom who has published in Best American Poetry The New Yorker Ploughshares and Poetry confronts the face of mortality and political/cultural crisis in Spill. Her answer is love in every direction: from a homeless shelter in Orlando to a halfway house run by the holy girls of Blackpool Ireland to Croatian students dressing her in white "a wedding dress." Her luminous language is both witness and incantation in poems that range from Steve McQueen & her young father to 2 000 snow geese falling from the sky a sleep disorder clinic and just-hatched turtles. As Nick Flynn noted "This book is an offering an attempt to capture the quicksilver nature of consciousness of what it's like to move through our world of burdens & joys." Spill is a call to live to fill with light.
Kelle Groom' s poetry collections are Spill (Anhinga Press) Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press) recipient of a Florida Book Award and recognized in Entertainment Weekly' s "Best New Poetry " Luckily (Anhinga Press) a Florida Book Award winner and Underwater City selected for University Press of Florida' s Contemporary Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review Best American Poetry The New Yorker New York Times Ploughshares and Poetry. Her memoir I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Simon & Schuster) is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and New York Times Book Review Editor' s Choice selection. She is a 2014 NEA Literature Fellow. Previously Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Sierra Nevada College Lake Tahoe Groom is on the faculty of SNC' s low-residency MFA Program. She currently is the Summer Program Director at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Massachusetts.
"Kelle Groom's latest collection Spill maps an ever-shifting terrain of absence and profound loss with lyric intimacy generosity and necessity. These poems are imaginatively and aesthetically restless exploring an interior landscape of memory while also recognizing that we live in a world of souls layered in trouble and delight. Groom's poems often counter-balance pain with a nuanced sense of humor a humor born of great attention and this in turn rises from a deep well of empathy. Early on Spill promises - 'If someone must saw open/ my chest I want all this light to be what spills out.' Kelle Groom promises a gift of light and the poems in Spill make good on this promise." - Brian Turner
"This book is an offering an attempt to capture the quicksilver nature of consciousness of what it's like to move through our world of burdens & joys. In The Face of Jesus Kelle Groom offers this: they believed the children had been sent / to help them better learn to love which lifted / me out of my own body for a moment. Be warned: you will find yourself - in all your glory & in all your confusion - in these poems." - Nick Flynn
"Kelle Groom's newest book of poems tells it slant as we are tipped into her world with a hand that seems both inconsolable and utterly aware. These are poems charged with her singular imagery (stitched down by her expansive ravishing lines) and this work of being both inside and outside a body a room a door a house is how we leap with her as if we're always on the verge of some fairy tale familiar but without end all while her heart is populated with a certainty about uncertainty and as she tries to find what she has lost but holds ever so near."- Sophie Cabot Black
"When I finished reading this urgent restorative book I wanted to turn to Kelle Groom - because it felt as if she were really there - and say 'Thank you for the honor of letting me stand inside this so-large heart while the world went on spinning in its unforgiving totally forgivable way.' No joke. Some rare books you actually get to rest inside of protected by the writer's trust and wisdom. This is one." - David Rivard
"In Kelle Groom's Spill I finally understand why love is always the third phrase we learn in a new language after we learn goodbye. Here home is a coast birds appear like visitations and the heart is a door the ocean stutters through. These poems break me open but then let language heal around the wound. For Groom nothing - not even love - is unspeakable." - Traci Brimhall