Friday, September 23, 2016

New Poetry Project update

As of this morning, the first poem in the New Poetry Project here at Modern Confessional and across my social media has been read an estimated 876 times. This number comes from adding up views of the post here on the blog, plus the number of likes, loves and shares on other social media sites. I think that's a pretty impressive number and encourages me to keep the project going through the end of the year. If you haven't read the first poem – "The Masquerade" – you can do so at this link. The next poem will be published on Sept. 30 and six more will follow until the end of the year. Once again, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing this work!

Friday, September 16, 2016

New Poetry Project: "The Masquerade"

Atlanta, 1990

The night we almost died,
crushed at a one-hit wonder concert,
comes back to me
when the club announces it’s closing.
An ancient excelsior mill
turned industrial dance hall,
I spent three years mapping
every dark corner, finding secret
places for sex and drugs,
dancing and stomping in a sunken
disco for misdirected youth.

I can’t remember who bought
the tickets for Deee-Lite, maybe Heather,
Tina’s momentary femme fatale,
but we marched up the creaking stairs
to Heaven, oversold and invaded
by suburban yuppies and kids.
The old floor cracked and gave
under unfamiliar weight. 

When Groove is in the Heart began,
I felt my feet leave the floor,
pinned between shoulders,
my glasses slapped into a crush
that inhaled and exhaled like an accordion.
I saw Heather go down, sink
into a sea of shirts and skins.
A year before her breast reduction,
Tina would wear scars across her chest
from being pushed over a barricade.

It was drag queen Jeff, who hated me
for sleeping with his ex, that saved us.
Lifting Heather over his head, clearing
a path as Tina and I found use
for elbows and knees.

The Masquerade – this firetrap
where I cried over boys, overdosed
in the overflowing toilets, gave
secret handshake hand jobs –
is becoming luxury apartments.
The hipsters and transplants
erasing history with their IKEA.
The night we almost died
buried under thick-pile, my map
good for nothing but excelsior.

*Excelsior: soft shavings used for packing fragile goods or stuffing furniture

This poem is the first of eight new works that will appear at Modern Confessional and across social media until the end of the year. Find out more about the New Poetry Project at this link. ©Collin Kelley, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lambda Literary reviews "Leaving Paris"

There's a fantastic review of Leaving Paris today at Lambda Literary. Many thanks to Steven Reigns for his kind words about this book and the entire Venus Trilogy. I especially like this part:
To his novels, he brings the precise, detailed, descriptive command of language that poetry requires. Admirers of his poetry will easily find themselves enthralled in his fiction. 
You can read the entire review at this link and pick up the Trilogy from Sibling Rivalry Press, IndieBound, Amazon, B&N or your local bookseller!

Monday, September 12, 2016

New poems coming to social media

Beginning this Friday, I'm going to begin posting new poems at Modern Confessional, Facebook and my various other social media accounts. The plan is to release two new poems each month for the rest of 2016. I've been mulling this over for awhile, talked it over with a few fellow poets and decided to move forward. The question I kept asking myself is how many publication credits are enough? Over the last 20+ years, I've had poetry published in countless journals, magazines and online. Without a doubt, most people have discovered my work thanks to the Internet. I've grown accustomed to waiting weeks, months and longer for new work to appear in journals, but there is some work I want to put out right now. I don't want to wait. I was also inspired by an article in Publishers Weekly about poet Rupi Kapur, whose collection Milk and Honey has sold 450,000 copies on the strength of her talent and the following she built by posting her work on her social media. We all want more readers, and since I still have a fairly healthy amount of views here at Modern Confessional and through my own social media, I don't see a downside. That's not to say I won't continue to submit poetry to journals (I have three submissions out right now, actually), but I'm in the process of selecting the eight poems that will appear exclusively across my social media. I encourage you to comment on this new work wherever it appears and share it with other poetry lovers. As always, thanks for reading and your support.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

A new novel

Last week, I wrote the first chapter of a new novel about a group of underground counterintelligence agents trying to prevent a terrorist attack on the Louvre. The book's central character is Juliette Lacombe, who plays a pivotal role in Leaving ParisIt could be the beginning of a new trilogy or perhaps a series of standalone mystery/thrillers. We'll see how it goes. I'm also starting to sequence the next poetry collection. I'm not happy unless I'm juggling multiple projects. Ploughshares did a spotlight on Seven Kitchens Press and had lovely things to say about the reprint of my chapbook, Slow To Burn. You can read the entire story at this link.I'm reading new poems today at 3 p.m. on the poetry stage at Java Monkey Coffee House as part of the Decatur Book Festival. Come through! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A new poem: The Last Confession of Sister Ruth

A wind in the door... Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus

I am thrilled to have a second new poem, "The Last Confession of Sister Ruth",  published in The Ekphrastic Review. This persona poem was inspired by the classic Powell/Pressburger film Black Narcissus, about the lust, jealousy and madness among a group of nuns in a remote Himalayan convent. Kathleen Byron's portrayal of mad Sister Ruth is brilliant. Again, many thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for selecting this poem and "Turning", which appeared a few weeks ago.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Leaving Paris eBook, new poetry and more

Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper
The eBook edition of Leaving Paris is now available for the Amazon Kindle. The eBook is also available in the .mobi format for Kindle and .ePub format for iPad, iPhone, Nook, etc. directly from Sibling Rivalry Press. Thank you so much to all of you who have asked about the eBook and waited patiently for its release. Sibling Rivalry Press wanted to make sure the digital version looked just as good as the print. They do fantastic work!

Speaking of Sibling Rivalry Press, the big summer fundraiser was a giant success! The press was offered a $25,000 grant if they could raise the same amount. The goal was met last week. SRP is on its way to becoming a nonprofit and bringing you more fiction, poetry and nonfiction that disturbs and enraptures. Publisher Bryan Borland was in Atlanta on July 26 for a special SRP reading with me, Megan Volpert, Theresa Davis, Brent Calderwood and Kaveh Akbar. It was beautiful reading and books were flying out the door. Many thanks to all those who came out to support us.

I have a new poem called "Turning" at The Ekphrastic Review. It's based on the Edward Hopper painting "Cape Cod Morning." A second new poem will appear in August. Many thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic for selecting my work.

Collin Kelley: Modern Confessional

Welcome to Collin Kelley: Modern Confessional, the website for poet, novelist, playwright and journalist Collin Kelley.