LPTrendsPoets. Kellie Elmore. Just beautiful.
to a different path
in a vagrant pursuit
to simply one common goal,
to merely become and live free
as vagabonds, aimlessly chasing
elusive butterflies of happiness.
By Kellie Elmore
Born in the city of Columbus, Ohio and relocated to a rural town in East Tennessee at the age of eight with her great-grandmother, Kellie Elmore had to quickly learn to adjust to such a drastic change in her surroundings.
Though rebellious of the move, her grandmother insisted that she would one day appreciate living in the country and all it had to offer; and it didn’t take long before she did.
Now, Kellie is a self proclaimed Southerner at heart, and a writer who believes self-expression is most beautiful in its pure, raw and unedited form.
She transforms the simplest words into something you can feel, often immersing her readers in a sense of nostalgia derivative of her upbringing in a small town, where she finds inspiration in nature, photography and in the humble surroundings of her “backyard” – Southeast Tennessee.
Through her charming prose and engrossing narratives, Kellie writes freely on many subjects both fiction and semi-autobiographical, penning her way through cherished and magical moments as well as tragic losses. Her goal is to take readers back, rekindle a memory or elicit a feeling.
Kellie’s debut collection was recently featured in Southern Writers Magazine and the reviews have been consistent, all agreeing that Magic in the Backyard is a must read.
Her poetry was also selected and included in the Voice Your Verse project, an anthology titled “If the World Were Your Classroom” by shesthefirst.org, a cause which helps fund girls education.
From Voice Your Verse
By Kellie Elmore
keep me warm
inside your summer eyes
when winters hand pushes me downward
and I will sing
in your arms of spring
where life plays a song from your chest
and your scent reminds me
of homes doorway
swinging on the hinges of your heart
I know that Magic in the Backyard is about your past and what formed your memories as a child. What are you working on now?
The book that I am currently working on is a bit different than Magic in the Backyard. It will consist of more prose and shorts that reflects more on the effects, the depression I have experienced emotionally from the events I shared in my first book. The first collection could be considered the “cause” view and the second collection, “the effect.”
I do however have a completed manuscript in which its contents are more like MITBY and I have been fighting with myself on which to release. I have been taking my readers into consideration and because of the amazing feedback on ‘Magic,’ I really want to give them more of what they enjoy. It’s a scary thing, to put yourself out there. Acceptance is something we all want and so this is a battle for me right now.
What poem – if you could select one, resonates with you most and why?
The loss of my grandmother and my uncle in such a short period of time was a pivotal moment in my life because what I knew as “home” seemed to dissipate after their passing. ‘Corner of Dead and Gone’ is a piece that I really had to place myself in. I had to give life back to not only them, but the house I grew up in and the memories that I did not want to reflect on because it was so painful. Writing it was truly healing for me.
Corner of Dead and Gone
By Kellie Emore
through yellowed sheers
on a loosely draped picture window,
clinging to floating particles
and gently trickling
over dust covered frames,
that still hold happy smiles
and blinkless stares,
Standing here now,
in this musky room
the worn hardwood cracks,
and whispers memories
of days when this house lived
and breathed laughter.
When the natural smell
was a home cooked meal-
My head begins to spin like old film,
as gray hues begin to imbue
That squeaky screen opens
to a never locked door,
and your raspy voice
welcoming with a cup of coffee.
Oh the smell-
of biscuits on sunday morning.
Sighs of full bellys
Ghostly echoes resonate
of children running-
In and out
In and out
That squeaky screen door.
Muffled conversations erupt into laughter,
and grandma sings a gospel hymn
as she watches hummingbirds
feed outside her window.
While Sheba purrs at her ankles,
she smiles with contentment.
I feel her joy
as it moves across my skin,
waking the hair on my neck.
I feel her,
and for a moment,
the walls seemed to inhale.
The train blows through town
slapping my face and screaming,
“You are alone”
Rose colored memories drown,
taking their last breath
absorbing sepia tones,
and saddened hues
as gray spills over the emptiness
chilling the air once more
and the reel stops.
What poem do you get the most responses from and why do you think that is?
Ironically, Corner of Dead and Gone has been my most commented piece of prose. I get the most feedback/response from works that emotionally drained me… the more I feel it, the more my readers tend to feel it. That’s the reward for me.
What poet do you enjoy reading the most?
I adore the work of Mary Oliver. I am completely captivated by her poetry, the way she observes the world, specifically nature. She inspires me with her beautiful simplicity.
If you were asked to travel somewhere – anywhere in the world – to teach a poetry workshop, where would you go ?
Ahhh…Italia! I would love to one day see the Italian countryside although, I could never imagine myself as a teacher…more of an “encourager.” I like to inspire people to just write, especially if they have never tried it. Add Italy to that and I’ll be happy.
I know you are a photographer and have some very nice pictures on your blog site. Have you ever thought about producing a book that is a collection of your photography combined with your poetry and prose?
Thank you! I am such an amateur and rely on photo editing software to give my pictures a little “oomph,” so I cannot take all the credit. I have actually used several of my own images to make what I call “Quoto’s,” which is just a quote or excerpt of my work placed on a picture. Publishing a collection of such has crossed my mind.
What has been one of the most exciting or satisfying outcomes of having Magic in the Backyard published?
Seeing Magic in the Backyard in the Talent Spotlight and making the “Famous Tennesseans” List (at http://www.tntrivia.com/)… I am named in between two of my favorites, Justin Timberlake and Kenney Chesney. That was exciting!
And whether or not it had anything to do with it but, finding out that The Band Perry followed me on Twitter was AWESOME!
This interview by Kathryn Mattingly.