About Rachel

Rachel Kessler is a writer and artist based in Seattle, Washington.

Your Neighborhood’s Feminist Witchcraft: An Interview with Jericho Brown & Yours Truly!

Here’s an interview about this upcoming Hugo House Literary Series reading with Jericho Brown and Porochista Khakpopur, where I talk about The Male Gaze, God watching you, and how maybe we could lock those two in a staring contest and go about our revolution. Jericho questions “whether there is such a thing as ‘universal’ and whether experiences that are not universal can be rendered as the so-called sublime.”

https://hugohouse.org/rachel-kessler-jericho-brown-lit-series/

Come hear us read!

Hugo Literary Series: Jericho Brown, Porochista Khakpour, Rachel Kessler

November 10 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Fred Wildlife Refuge (128 Belmont Ave East) | 21+ | Doors open at 6:30 pm
General: $25 | Hugo House member: $20 | Student (with ID): $12

The 2017-2018 Hugo Literary Series coincides with our move to a new and permanent home on the same site where we first opened our doors over 20 years ago. In this same spirit of development and growth, we’ve commissioned new work on themes of real estate—from the pragmatic issues of property value to the more nebulous idea of place.

Award-winning poet Jericho Brown; critically acclaimed writer Porochista Khakpour; Seattle-based poet, performer, and one-half of the Vis-à-Vis Society, Rachel Kessler; and musician Katie Jacobson will present new and original work on the theme of “Area Protected by Neighborhood Watch.”

Books will be for sale through Elliott Bay Book Company and Open Books: A Poem Emporium.

Perhaps I will show some slides of some experimental maps I made:

DSC_0023(photo credit Maude Deslauriers)

Finding Family Ghosts In My Neighborhood

FM 88.5 KNKX interviewed me about Yesler Way and the Kesslers on it. Listen to me read an excerpt from “Profanity Hill: A Tour of Yesler Way” (anthologized in Ghosts of Seattle Past) and talk about gentrification and uncovering lost history.

http://knkx.org/post/finding-your-familys-ghosts-your-own-backyard

Herman-Leo-William-Harriette Laurie

(Herman “Pop” Kessler, Klondiker and my great-great-grandfather)

Seattle Poetic Grid

Seattle Civic Poet the brilliant Claudia Castro Luna included one of my poems on her culminating Seattle Poetic Grid project. I wrote “Another ‘Rehab” In the CD” in one of her drop-in poetry writing sessions at the library. This poem is located on 26th Ave and Yesler Way:

http://www.seattlepoeticgrid.com

From the press release:

“Seattle Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, launches a poetry map of the city. Seattle Poetic Grid (www.seattlepoeticgrid.com) is an interactive poetic cartography of the city and a culmination of Castro Luna’s two-year Civic Poet residency. The Grid brings Seattle’s poetic side to light. The project is intended to remain as a living testament of the city, and includes a link for those who would like to make their poetic contributions.”

And here’s some of my maps of Yesler Way from my installation at Vermont Studio Center:

(photo: Maude Deslauriers!)

DSC_0007

 

Lit Crawl-ing to you

I’m baaaaaack from the woods of Vermont Studio Center (actually more of a village lifestyle), where they gave me a big white room, which I filled with my exploded brain via sumi ink and brush. Thursday, October 19 at 6:00 PM I’ll be sharing some of this month-long installation of maps and personal geography, alongside two rad writers, Summer Karaskova and Tara Atkinson, at Lit Crawl. This summer at Till, we all wrote by walking, listening with the ears we attached to our feet, in a workshop I led at Smokefarm. Come trip balls and dismantle the narrative plot patri-arch with us:

Till Writers Reading

The Highline 210 Broadway E. Seattle WA 98102 (21+)

Gather for readings by Tara Atkinson, Summer Karaskova, and Rachel Kessler, three rad women affiliated with Till. This is farm to table poetry, interdisciplinary work, and freshly published fiction that will leave you happily hungry for more.

(photo credit: Maude DesLauriers @8fleurebelle8)

DSC_0005

 

Link

It’s nearly summer solstice, and the sun calls to us on these long golden days, urging us to don lab coats and roll down grassy knolls. An instructional video experiment by the Vis-a-Vis Society, with Britta Johnson and Ruby Seiwerath.

Vis-a-Vis Society

Vis-a-Vis Society’s instructional video on how to go DOWNHILL for NEPO 5K Don’t Run 2012

View original post

“At the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder”

Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall selected my poem to be included in WA129!

Inspired by Moomins Feelings Flashcards, and partially written on a Path With Art “Writing Around the City” class I led on visit to the Locks, this poem about a giant squid’s documentary voice, the sadness of salmon and real estate shares book space with Sherman Alexie!