Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Kelly Weber : part one

Kelly Weber is the author of the debut poetry collection We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press, 2022) and the chapbook The Dodo Heart Museum (Dancing Girl Press, 2021). Her work has received Pushcart nominations and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Brevity, The Missouri Review, The Journal, Palette Poetry, Southeast Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Colorado State University and lives in Colorado with two rescue cats. More of her work can be found at

Photo credit: Mark Weber

How did you first engage with poetry?

I was really hesitant to engage with poetry when I was young. My mom bought me a collection of poetry deemed suitable for children and I think there was some Dickinson, Whitman, etc. in there, but reading poems felt more like a duty than a joy for a long time. It wasn’t until late in high school that I discovered more contemporary poets and began to take an interest in the form. When I first engaged with poetry, I was interested in it as an intellectual exercise in word play, but I didn’t really engage with it as a vehicle for emotion or thinking about the things that mattered to me. Then I finally took some introductory poetry classes in college and met real, living poets who introduced me to the poems of Sharon Olds, Yusef Komunyakaa, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, etc. When poems stopped being just perfunctory word games and became a practice of living in the world, I became hooked. It’s surely no coincidence that my interest took off when I was invited into community.

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