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.
(Herman “Pop” Kessler, Klondiker and my great-great-grandfather)
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!
Working that walk so hard it hurts, it hurts, walking home in someone else’s high heels. You were who you were before you came here— a small animal, wandering, a drink in your hand. It hurts, walki…
Source: After the Party Pantoum
Sunday morning cast wide your nets. Nimble fingers tickle down a harvest of therapists for adolescents, depressed yet still trotting out to-do lists. Our listless rider of the emotional waterbed. W…
Source: Some Kind of Sonnet
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 Seattle Review of Books published this poem, “Selfies In the Wilderness,” about my teenage daughters schooling me on selfies and feminism.
Rachel Syme wrote this essay, “SELFIE: The Revolutionary Potential of Your Own Face In Seven Chapters.” Read it for a long and satisfying tour of the power my kids revealed to me.
Just a few ways to end.
This video is a collaboration with Sierra Nelson. Together we are Vis-a-Vis Society, a group of poet-scientists dedicated to the analysis of the everyday. This excerpt is from Vis-a-Vis Society’s much longer video poem/instructional video of 1,000 ways to end. Premiered as part of Vis-a-Vis Society’s interactive installation piece “Registration” at NEPO 5K Don’t Run 2015. Written and performed by Rachel Kessler and Sierra Nelson. Director of cinematography: Britta Johnson. Editor: Britta Johnson. Sound: Britta Johnson. Studio Recording: Kent Kessler.
My poem “What Dad Said” is featured as Narrative Magazine’s Poem of the Week. Thank you to poetry editor Michael Wiegers, and everyone at Narrative.
My poems “Mice at the Jazz Concert” and “I Hate the Dancer” appear in the latest issue of Poetry Northwest!
(From “The Mouse & Mt St Helens” by Rachel Kessler, 1981)