Koren composes chapbook
of original poetry about life
to sign books
at Village Lights Bookstore on Dec. 17
(December 2011) Mother, wife, teacher, poet.
The list goes on. Jill Kelly Koren, 35, truly has a wealth of experience
to pull from when writing poetry. Many of her poems reflect the world
around her and include themes such as family, love and death.
Korens latest work is a collection of 19 original poems that have
been organized into a chapbook. This sized-down poetry book combines
both previously published and new poems all written by Koren. The chapbook
is not only meant to describe life but to give readers a glance into
the authors thoughts about the world.
depicted in this
painting by Tom Kelly,
is a musician
and a poet.
Koren will be signing her new book of poems from 5 p.m.
to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Village Lights Bookstore, 110 E.
Main St. Madison, Ind. There will also be live music at 6:30 p.m. and
8 p.m. by The Chestnuts and Fly Painted Feathers.
The stores owner, Nathan Montoya, has featured Koren in the past
and recently appointed her as the new emcee during poetry nights.
Shes a wonderful reader and a wonderful poet, said
Montoya. And were very excited with this book shes
coming out with.
Korens path to writing poetry began around age 8 when she was
reading about American poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Already fond of writing,
Koren then thought I had to catch up!
She began writing poems on and off and became serious about it when
she was teaching in Houston. She finally decided to enter graduate school
to study poetry at Spalding University in Louisville, where she received
her masters degree in creative writing with a focus in poetry
and creative non-fiction.
Soon her poems and essays were being published in literary magazines
such as The Louisville Review, Women, Period, and Literary Mama.
For her creative thesis at Spalding, Koren began to organize her continuously
growing poems into manuscript form. Though this body of work didnt
elicit a large response, this was a kickstart to begin compiling her
most recent chapbook.
When a friend started a printing press in Lexington, Ky. Koren used
this opportunity to distill what she had in her previous manuscript
and place it into what is now While the Water Rises Around Us.
When creating her poems, Koren used inspiration from the people around
her, such as her father, who writes songs, and her mother, who read
her poetry when she was younger. Her husband, Emeka, and their two children,
Sonny and Esphyr, have also been used as subject matter for her poems.
I write a lot about them, she said. Thats the
life Im living right now.
However, Koren doesnt just use her artistic talent for writing.
She enjoys the visual arts and when shes not writing or drawing
she can be found playing music. She is in the band, The Chestnuts, a
folk trio in which she plays the bass and acoustic guitar.
Koren also teaches an online writing class for Ivy Tech Community College,
where she incorporates her own experience as a writer into her lessons.
Koren said she enjoys teaching and that even if I werent
publishing, I would still be writing. Its a way to share with
people and it illuminates life.
For Koren, the process of writing a poem usually begins with a moment
she has experienced herself. Many times she comes up with ideas by being
alone and then composing the poem in a way that shares that same experience
Though some of her poems maintain a traditional form to them, such as
sonnets, she mainly writes in open verse. Open verse, also known as
open form, usually strays from rhyming and a strict structure and provides
a way for Koren to freely compose in a manner that suits her ideals.
With each poem Koren tries to make a connection with the reader through
different experiences. She explains part of the reason she writes is
because of its redemptive value in a world where so much is lost. Her
aim is to confront tragedy or loss by putting the situation into a poem
and redeeming it through the art of poetry.
For more information, call Village Lights Bookstore
at (812) 265-1800.
Back to December