My award-winning chapbook, Heavy Light, is available from Two of Cups Press! Poems from this chapbook have been published in Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal, Entropy Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Riverteeth’s Beautiful Things Series.
Heavy Light recently won the 2017 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Chapbook Contest, for best chapbook published by a Wisconsin writer in 2016. The judge, poet Amy Lemmon, had this to say about the work: “Encapsulating the world of new motherhood, its tense anticipation and barely-bearable pain, its exhilaration and disappointment, its sheer drudgery and deep joy, these poems incorporate the cant and self-help blather of “parenting culture” to get at the physical, psychic, and spiritual heart of the matter. Like the installment by Janine Antoni that graces the cover, Morse’s work transforms the body’s marvelous and terrible powers into art that affects us as much in the heart and gut as in the brain.”
Heavy Light also received an honorable mention for the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award Chapbook category.
“Kelly Morse’s impressive debut chapbook looks clear-eyed at an essential truth of motherhood: life is wholly new not only for the child but also for the parent. Heavy Light explores this newborn landscape, this newborn life—the baby’s “homespun vernix jumpsuit,” the “daughter’s skull a pale lantern,” the nursing mother learning “what it feels like to be un-/wound for happiness and hunger”—and makes us ask: What happens to the self? In poem after otherworldly poem, Morse answers, showing us the way motherhood scrubs us raw but also shines us; the way it leaves us stinging deliciously in the air, pink and new. The mother in these poems learns to bear the weight of this light, and we are glad to bear it with her.”
“Was I not gravid, was I not grave,” asks Kelly Morse in this beautiful collection. If light is love—and of course it is—then of course it’s heavy, and the reader feels that weight—of air on the egg, of dirt on the forehead, of the tiny body, nursing. Through these graceful and assured poems, we sense the strands connecting us in a sort of luminous fiber optics of relation, and are the better for it.
You can read some of the included poems in these delightful magazines:
“Rough Alcaics: Nursing with the NYT“ – Tinderbox Poetry Journal
“Swan Song” (originally titled Final Days) – Entropy Magazine
“Ritual” – Riverteeth Journal’s Beautiful Things