Thursday, June 16, 2011

What is Kelle Groom reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Kelle Groom, author of the new memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been reading Tomaz Salamun and Denise Duhamel, for joy. My friend Janean and I were talking about alcoholism, and Janean said, “Barbie is bottoming out.” A quote from Denise Duhamel’s poem, “Barbie Joins a Twelve Step Program” in Kinky. Which sent me back to these thrilling, satiric poems featuring Barbie in many guises, i.e., “Beatnik Barbie”: “Talk about failure./ Barbie couldn’t snap.”...[read on]
Among the early praise for I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl:
"Gorgeous, poetic language ... is the backbone of this unflinching look at a life saved by forgiveness. Are you a human being? Read this book!"
Library Journal (starred review)

"Groom’s stunning memoir reads more like poetry than prose and leaves the ‘brain singing with neurons like a city at night.’ .... Her astonishing struggle and unique resurrection illuminate the universal human effort to embrace one’s self, accepting personal flaws, demons, and methods of survival.”

“The triumph of Kelle Groom’s memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl, lies in her plangent, poetic prose as she lays bare the onset of her alcoholism at age 15, the child she bore and gave up at 19, and her dead-end jobs, upset parents, blackouts, hookups, and, eventually, slow and steadfast embrace of a sober, creative life.”
—Lisa Shea, Elle

"A visceral, darkly lyrical narrative"
Kirkus Reviews

“Her [Groom's] writing is a wonderfully compelling mix of simple and lyrical"
Publishers Weekly

"In a series of beautifully compressed narratives, Groom, who grapples here with the very meaning of motherhood, describes devastating binges... As heartbreaking as this book is, Groom writes with a captivating urgency. Her salvation, a result of her tireless quest for clarity, will leave you cheering."
—Susanna Sonnenberg, More
View the trailer for I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl, and learn more about the book and author at Kelle Groom's website.

Groom is the author of three poetry collections: Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press, 2010); Luckily (Anhinga, 2006); and Underwater City (University Press of Florida, 2004). Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2010, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Poetry, among others, and has received special mention in the Pushcart Prize 2010 and Best American Non-Required Reading 2007 anthologies.

The Page 99 Test: I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl.

Writers Read: Kelle Groom.

--Marshal Zeringue