Oh, friends. April is going to be so much fun for us. I already told you it’s National Poetry Month, but don’t despair if poetry’s not your thing, because I’ll be mixing and matching that poetry with a lot of my usual strangeness, photos, and non-poetry topics.
But today is Writer Wednesday, and I’m featuring a poet I just read for this first time: Kelly Davio. As I tell you about meeting Ms. Davio and about the publisher, please enjoy some of my favorite excerpts from her work.I learned to recognize seasons in that drought town of perpetual sun by changes in the quality of light
-Kelly Davio, in her poem, “Burned by Salt”
Before I met Ms. Davio, I couldn’t stop staring at one of the prettiest book covers I’ve ever seen. It is the cover of the book I’m giving away today, Burn This House.
The more I began browsing the collection of books at the Red Hen Press booth, the more I realized that they have a knack for pairing incredible talent with incredible cover art. I learned that most of the authors’ covers are chosen carefully by publisher Mark Cull. If I’m ever lucky enough, talented enough and non-procrastinating enough to finish and submit an entire poetry collection, Red Hen Press would be my first choice of the small presses.In that café, my father-in-law wears his polo shirt printed with the Constitution. Or, with the better parts. From shoulder to navel, “a more perfect union” slopes down his belly.
*From Kelly Davio’s poem, “Humility”
It wasn’t until after I was back home and finally digesting all the new books I received and looking through photos and checking out websites that I realized Red Hen Press is a non-profit literary organization.
Oh dear. Folks, you know my weakness for non-profits. As soon as I realized that, I had to make a donation. It was compulsory. It felt good.
I have a feeling this press (and their writers) will become my new obsession.When bells rang for Vespers, we sneaked to the summerhouse, revived the fifth of Jack Daniels you’d hidden in the linen cabinet. While the nuns sang Compline, we played hands of poker, barely knowing the rules, a thin frost collecting on the hedge outside.
“Chastity” (one of my favorite pieces in Ms. Davio’s book)
At the AWP conference, not only did I have the opportunity to meet great writers signing their books, but the staff took turns manning the booth and I was able to meet many of them as well. I couldn’t believe how well they knew the work of each author in their substantial catalog!
So there I was, hang-jawed over Ms. Davio’s book, when she walked over to greet me. I wouldn’t realize until after the conference that we had several mutual friends, or that in her “day job” she is the Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Review. Friends, the Los Angeles Review is a big deal. Thankfully, I did not know who she was, or I most likely would have had one of my usual gushing incidents, talked about bacteria or succubi, or one of my other awkward topics to frighten her.
Instead I simply asked her to write “Quit Stalking me!” in the book she signed for my private collection. Because that is never awkward.
I would love to give you so many quotes from Davio’s book, but I feel I’ve already shared too much. You should try to win it, or buy it to read it cover to cover. Beautiful.
NEW CONTEST FORMAT! A cool new way to create contests for you. I hope you enjoy playing:
Good luck, friends!
P.S. Want to support Kelly and join in the fun? Share this contest on your page: simply copy and paste this link in your site:
P.P.S. Entering today’s contest for Davio’s book gets you another entry for those Geraldine Brooks tickets!!