Today's poem is "From The Handbook for Emergency Situations"
from Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room

White Pine Press

Kelli Russell Agodon was born and raised in Seattle and educated at the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University's Rainier Writing Workshop where she received her MFA in creative writing. She is the author of Small Knots (2004) and Geography, winner of the 2003 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. Currently, Kelli lives in the Northwest with her family. She is the co-editor of the literary journal, Crab Creek Review.

Other poems by Kelli Russell Agodon in Verse Daily:
August 17, 2007:   "Saint of Marriages" " She tells him what she cannot name..."
September 29, 2005:   "Love Song to My Neighborhoods" " Sometimes I stroll through forests..."
August 6, 2004:  "A Mermaid Questions God" "As a girl, she hated the grain of anything..."

Books by Kelli Russell Agodon:

Other poems on the web by Kelli Russell Agodon:
Two poems
Five poems
Four poems
"Snapshot of a Lump"
"How Killer Blue Irises Spread"
Two poems

Kelli Russell Agodon's Website.

Kelli Russell Agodon's Blog.

Kelli Russell Agodon according to Wikipedia.

About Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room:

"In Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, a most unexpected feat of poetic legerdemain, Kelli Russell Agodon composes on the high-wire of misprision and semantic accidents. She is an aerialist hovering above language without a net, and is possibly the wittiest anagramist in recent memory (pray for poets becomes the story of paper). All I can say is: reader, go with her shopping for coffins. Go with her as she nails light to paper. The rewards are many."
—Carolyn Forché

"These are poems of remarkable liveliness. In their wide-ranging wit and passion for language, their surprising juxtapositions of the ordinary and the exalted, and their willingness to foreground doubt in a search for meaning, they show a fellowship with the work of Dickinson that is deep without ever being solemn. Here is a fresh, distinctive voice that is consistently engaging and surprising."
—Carl Dennis

"Kelli Russell Agodon writes, 'When God knew the gifts He had given me / He said, No givebacks.' She asks, 'Still, what can we substitute for childbirth? Bamboozle? Inferno? Divinity?' A black bra takes on the power of a celestial body—'no light can escape from it.' Playful and tormented, rich in wit, this poet questions the misunderstandings and the miracles all around us. A wonderful book!"
—Peggy Shumaker

"Letters From the Emily Dickinson Room is a bright, funny, touching meditation on loss, love, and the power of words. Agodon's genius is in the interweaving of God and Vodka, bees and bras, astronomy and astrology, quotes from Einstein and Emily Dickinson, a world in which gossip rags in checkout lines and Neruda hum in the writer's mind with equal intensity. Self-help mantras resurface throughout as a reminder of the ways modern society chooses to deal with today's tragedies, a reminder that a cup of tea and a positive attitude are not always enough when struggling with life's bigger problems. Part of the book deals with the speaker's ambivalence towards marriage and religion, part with the death of the speaker's father, and part with the same themes that Emily Dickinson dwelled on: the natural world and its mysteries and ability to serve as a spiritual guide. This is a book that will linger in your mind with its humor, its honesty and insight, and its fervent belief in poetry and play."
—Jeannine Hall Gailey

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