It's lovely having a personal connection to poetry - and a poet. We've all known (for a given value of communicated-on-the-internet-met-in-person-only-once knowing) poet Kelly Ramsdell Fineman for quite a few years now, and though she's a less vocal part of the kidlitosphere on days when she's wrestling down her rheumatoid arthritis, she's one of our core members who has been blogging for probably as long as -- or longer -- than A.F. and I. An original member of Guys Lit Wire and a core contributor to the great Poetry Friday movement that swept the blogosphere, as well as a contributor on the lovely new Poetry Friday Anthology, Kelly has been published in Highlights for Children magazine, and has poems in Summer Shorts, Breaking Waves, and Mountain Magic: Spellbinding Tales of Appalachia (2006), and in the book Write Your Own Poetry by another kidlitosphere buddy, Laura Purdie Salas (2008). Kelly's first poetic picture book AT THE BOARDWALK, illustrated by Mónica Armiño, was released by Tiger Tales Books in 2012, and today we celebrate a new chapbook, The Universe Comes Knocking, out from Maverick Duck Press.
I've blogged personally about a gift of buttons I received (and am gluing to all sorts of things), and I have an affection for sidewalks and windowsills and common things - what I love is that Kelly doesn't just blog about them, she creates poetry around them - or below them, perhaps? - and elevates them. Chairs. Peas. Not even her goofy cat knocking things over escapes her poetic gaze.
This collection contains twenty poems of varying lengths, on various topics - some of which are immediately sticky, like a catchy song, others of which worm their way into your heart on a second reading, taking the place of those first, impulsive rushes of pleasure. Good poetry simply has a way of doing that... Wonderland waves jazz hands and does dubstep (okay, maybe not) and otherwise fizzes about in an irresponsible manner in celebration of Kelly's poetry and her general awesomeness (and wishes her a belated happy April birthday!).
I received my copy of this book courtesy of the universe. No, seriously. You, however, can find THE UNIVERSE COMES KNOCKING by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman at Maverick Duck Press!