About Rachel

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

The Gods’ Funniest Home Videos

Thank you, PANK, for publishing my prose poem “The Gods’ Funniest Home Videos.” This poem was inspired by Sandra Suarez, a woman who ripped off her clothes, rampaged through a McDonald’s and guzzled soft serve straight from the nozzle. Her rage resonated with me. As I watched, I felt such kinesthetic empathy with her actions. Both the power and futility of tearing up an evil place with bareskinned strength. She was having a bi-polar episode and some asshole employees videotaped it and now the whole world has watched and laughed at this woman in crisis. Every report describes her as “mother of two.” Female rage and motherhood, capitalism and nutrition, surveillance and Shadenfreude, oh human mammals and the stories we weave to keep safe. Read it here:

THE GODS’ FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS

 

Oblique Strategies For Self-Knowledge That Had A Lot of Energy But Are Ultimately Depressing Because Hope Is Eclipsed by That Self-Loathing Marauder Who Loots Everything

Tahoma Literary Review published my long poem “Oblique Strategies For Self-Knowledge That Had A Lot of Energy But Are Ultimately Depressing Because Hope Is Eclipsed by That Self-Loathing Marauder Who Loots Everything.” Read it here.

“Backstory” video poem featured on Poetry Northwest

Poetry Northwest is featuring “Backstory” in their Cinema Poetry NW series. Watch it here or here.

The poem first appeared (in print) in Poetry Northwest, Winter & Spring 2015 Issue. I wrote it while collaborating with visual artist Leo Saul Berk on a public art project that included a series of linked, looping palindromic story-poems about the Willamette River in Portland, OR. I shot this video in Seattle early one morning out walking my dog, Smudge, along Lake Washington.

Me & You & Everyone We Know & Miranda July & Post-Partum Depression

Mutha Magazine published my essay, first performed at Washington Ensemble Theatre‘s Six Pack Series Celebrity-themed night (in the old space on 19th Ave E, previously the Northwest Film Forum’s Little Theater/Wiggly World where this photo happened:)Nursing Hamster

with my best lady Betsey Brock, master of sock puppets.

RKessler+Sock Puppets

She took this picture of me directing her on how sock puppets interact. Betsey masterfully transformed a pink sock into a vulva puppet that night, and somehow operated 3 sock puppets with 2 hands and a foot.

Read the essay here.

 

From the Archive: “Are You There, Judy Blume? It’s Me, Rachel”, by Rachel Kessler

This essay was commissioned by SAL on the occasion of our program featuring Judy Blume in the 2014/15 Literary Arts Series, on June 11, 2015. It was written by WITS Writer-in-Residence Rachel Kessl…

Source: From the Archive: “Are You There, Judy Blume? It’s Me, Rachel”, by Rachel Kessler