These are the ones that have pushed through.  Some are pretty. Some are food. Some are noxious. Some are medicine. You choose.

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RK in field

Poet, artist and teacher Rachel Kellum lives at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains with her family. Her passion is to help people of all ages live artfully and mindfully. 

Kellum taught eleven years as full-time faculty in English, literature, humanities and art at Morgan Community College on the eastern plains of Colorado where she was also an active member of MCC’s Center for Arts and Community Enrichment (CACE). For six years she directed the CACE Gallery of Fine Art, hosted Open Mic Poetry Nights that featured Colorado’s finest poets, and led MCC’s Creative Writing Club and poetry-writing workshops for local writers’ groups and young students. In late 2013 she started Tumbleweed Poets, a local chapter of Colorado’s state poetry society, Columbine Poets, affiliated with the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

In the summer of 2017, Kellum moved to Colorado’s central mountain region and worked as an event coordinator for the Salida SteamPlant, a thriving community arts center that played an important role in downtown Salida being designated Colorado’s first official Colorado Creative District in 2012. She now teaches a summer writing class at Adams State University, middle school English and K -12 visual art in the San Luis Valley. For the past three years, with poet Peter Anderson at the helm, she and several other local writers and artists have organized the Crestone Poetry Festival.

Kellum holds a BFA in painting and drawing from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and studied British and Irish literature, art history and painting for a year in London, England, at the Institute of European Studies, The Slade School of Fine Art and The Courtauld Institute of Art History.  After delivering three amazing people into the world and homeschooling them and herself for seven years, she completed her MA in English education from Colorado State University. Her thesis, Composing Birth, explores an emerging genre of women’s creative non-fiction: homegrown birth narratives that challenge the technocratic storylines of modern obstetrics. To this end, she offers her own homebirth stories that are found online and in the book, Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth.

Kellum Portrait by Kit Hedman

Fascinated by humanity’s relationship to mystery,  Kellum’s education has also included a personal study of many world spiritual traditions with a focus on meditation and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. She is grateful to have studied with The Venerable Khandro Rinpoche, a celebrated teacher and nun, and several Bön Buddhist masters: Geshe Tenzin Yangton, Geshe Lhundup Chapur, Geshe Yungdrung Gyaltsen, whom she taught English; and, for the past fifteen years, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, her root teacher. To help others reap the benefits of meditation practice, Kellum facilitated non-sectarian meditation workshops for faculty and staff at MCC. 

An occasional actor/performer, Kellum played Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and has performed original work in The Vagina Monologues and The Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival.  Most recently she has performed in a number of venues: Ziggies Poetry Festival in Denver, Talking Gourds in Telluride, the Aspen Poets’ Society Fundraiser, Hearthfire Books in Evergreen and also at Westside Books in Denver in a poetry duo with Art Goodtimes, Western Slope Poet Laureate.

Primarily a poet, her work is featured in her first book, ah, published by Liquid Light Press, as well as the international poetry collection, Lush, by Rufous Press. In a couple clicks, you can find more work in various online venues. Her poem, “because iphones are poems, and i held yours,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2008.

Though she’s thrilled her poems are beginning new lives on paper these days, blogging is still her favorite medium, a place where  poems can pop up outside the plots, in between the rows, along the road.

3 Responses to “About”

  1. Deborah says:

    Elation! Loved your reading today, and now I find the bullet-in-the blender poem here to enjoy again.

    • wordweed says:

      Thanks, Deborah, for coming to visit my blog and for sharing your wonderful poem about the eyesore tree today. I thought the ending was marvelously, mindfully rebellious: that noticing of the little tree every morning and allowing the slow process of taking root, despite the neighbors.

  2. Alicia says:

    Hi Rachel! Not sure if you remember me. We met and connected in the year or so before JP Baker died. One time you laughed uproariously at something that had really bothered me about an interaction with her but then some time later I found myself having the same reaction to something somebody else said in a similar state of upset. So it all came clear and we corresponded to that affect.

    Last week I unearthed a long-overlooked package that I thought I had mailed you years ago containing a book about retrograde mercury. Funny and more than a little embarrassing. I suppose it’s no coincidence that I’m finally getting myself focused enough to search you out and make contact on JP’s birthday. Love the opportunity to read wonderful poems you have written! Did you go to the special gathering that first late spring? Do you know if she ever got her dreamed-about and specially permissioned Goddess head stone? And you. I think of you quite often because I am teaching myself how to draw as a balancing method to help minimize some neurological damage. And it’s working slowly but surely. I always remember (and have repeated a few times) you telling me that you could read brush-strokes as if they were tarot cards. Much love.

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