Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wonderful News!

When I started this blog, I promised myself that it wouldn't be an "about-me" blog, and I've tried to keep that promise. This week, however, I'm excited to share some really special news with you in lieu of a prompt or guest blogger post.

My new book, A Lightness, A Thirst, Or Nothing At All, is now ready for immediate shipment (at a generous discount) via



If you haven't already ordered a copy,
I very much hope you will (and thank you in advance for your support)!


(You may also place an order through your favorite bookseller.)

From the Publisher's Press Release

"Welcome Rain Publishers ( is pleased to announce publication of A Lightness, A Thirst, Or Nothing At All by Adele Kenny, a collection of 53 prose poems. Prose poems, which are arranged in short paragraphs rather than in lines, include deliberate fragments, the language of dreams, and an occasional nod to the surreal. Kenny combines these techniques with her signature elements of striking imagery and compelling immediacy to inform an enhanced view of the ways in which the interior life intersects with the outside world. These poems startle, surprise, and tell us things about ourselves that we didn't know."


About the Book

"A gorgeous, deeply pondered work of art. I love it."
          —Renée Ashley, Poetry Editor of The Literary Review

"In language so subtly pitched, paced and modulated it captures our attention without drawing attention to itself, Kenny draws us into discovering that what never changes is all around us in the ever-changing world, that one is only approachable, knowable, bearable through the other.  We trust her to be our guide because her vision is so unwavering."

          —Martin J. Farawell, Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival Director

"Talk about channeling! Here reborn is Emily Dickinson, replete with the mystery, the haunting spirituality, and the metaphysical imagery. Adele, more than any other contemporary poet, balances all these elements so well, though with a touch far more personal than Dickinson’s." 
          —Charles DeFanti, Author of The Wages of Expectation


Sample Poems

Click Here for Video Remix of "Twilight and What There Is" (Video and Reading by Nic Sebastian)


A stray dog laps the moon from a broken flowerpot. Silk hydrangeas bloom against the fence. A heron stands on the clothesline—bluer than blue—perched where (sky, earth) edges converge.

On the wall, the painting of a clock ticks, hands painted in at three forty-seven. She takes a wax apple from the bowl and peels it with a silver fruit knife. Sugared bread dries on the table. Across the room, a dimensional window masquerades as persuasion. If you believe it, it is.


Back then, I wasn’t sure what calling meant. I thought something mystical—God’s hand on my arm, a divine voice speaking my name. Instead, I discovered the colors of cyclamen, how even the meanest weeds burst into bloom.

It works like this—among the books and fires—grace comes disguised as the winter finch, its beak in the seed; the twilight opossum that feeds on scraps—her babies born beneath my neighbor’s shed. Every day, I learn what love is: the finches, the opossum, the child with Down Syndrome who asked, Can I hug you a hundred times?

Whatever idea I had of myself turns on this: what lives on breath is spirit. I discover the power of simple places—silence—the desire to become nothing.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Prompt #220 – Limericks

With St. Patrick's Day coming up this Tuesday, I thought it might be fun to work with a form of poetry that's associated with the Irish.

The limerick is a quintessentially Irish form of poetry. Humorous, and sometimes naughty (even downright bawdy), limericks contain three long and two short lines that rhyme in a pattern of a,a,b,b,a. The oldest limerick (format) on record (thirteenth century) is one in Latin written by Thomas Aquinas in the form of a prayer:

             Sit vitiorum meorum evacuatio
            Concupiscentae et libidinis exterminatio,
            Caritatis et patientiae,
            Humilitatis et obedientiae,
            Omniumque virtutum augmentatio

During the eighteenth century limericks appeared in Mother Goose’s Melodies, but was most widely popularized by Edward Lear in his 1846 Book of Nonsense; however, Lear didn’t use the term Limerick. Here’s an example from Lear’s book:

          There was an Old Man with a beard,
          Who said, “It is just as I feared!
          Two Owls and a Hen,
          Four Larks and a Wren,
          Have all built their nests in my beard!”

Other poets who wrote limericks include Lord Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Guidelines & Tips:

Remember that limericks are typically humorous—have fun writing one or more this week.

Pick a topic and write your limerick using the typical pattern:

The first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 8).

The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 5)

The fifth line either repeats the first line or rhymes with it.

Limericks have an anapestic rhythm that’s created through accented and unaccented syllables. The pattern is illustrated below with dashes for weak syllables, and back-slashes for stressed syllables:

 - / - - / - - /
 - / - - / - - /
 - / - - /
 - / - - /
 - / - - / - - /

Click Here for Limerick Examples

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Prompt #219 – A Piece of Your Mind

When most people think about poetry, they think in terms of beautiful expressions. For the uninitiated,  that usually means the stuff of spring days and flowers, love and loveliness. However, some of the most compelling poetry goes in an entirely different direction. Enter the “rant poem.” Rant poems offer poets opportunities to metaphorically stamp their feet, throw things out the window, and tell people off. Rant poems enable their writers to “let off steam” and walk away feeling good. In a rant poem, you can:

  • Complain
  • Criticize
  • Argue
  • Denounce
  • Engage in a Verbal Tirade
  • Spit Nails
  • Tell Someone What You Really Think of Him or Her
  • Tell Yourself Off for Something You’ve Done and Regret


1. Pick a subject that really annoys, angers, provokes, or upsets you (something personal, something in the news, something about other people’s behaviors, etc).

2. Free write about that subject for several minutes. In this part of the process, don’t “pull your punches.”

3. Take a look at what you’ve written, and decide on the tone or “feeling” you want to highlight in your poem.

4. Think about what you want your readers to understand in your poem. In other words, what's the point of your rant?

5. Think about how you want to rant (using humor, vehemently, using sarcasm).

6. Go back to your free write and pick the details that will be a good fit for the tone or mood you want to create. Use language with “muscle.”

7. Begin writing using the details you selected from your free write, but don't be afraid to move in other directions as well.
8. Conclude with a real punch (a statement that beings your rant to closure in a unique and powerful way).


1. Imagine yourself reading your poem aloud to an audience, then look at your poem and determine whether or not the emotion you want to convey comes through written language as well as it would if you were to read the poem aloud. Revise accordingly.

2. Punctuate purposefully. Use commas, dashes, and other punctuation marks to emphasize important parts of your rant.

3. Use adjectives sparingly. Remember that too many adjectives can be your worst enemy: most often the concept is already made clear in the noun.