Archive for the ‘My Work in Other Venues’ Category

Instead of Children

Friday, May 7th, 2021

Asleep I dream of clay and children

          and not enough time

to show them how to fully open the eyes

          of the hands, the fingers of the eyes.

Awake I dream of clay instead of children

          and not enough time

to fully perform my own concerto, lucid fingers

          bowing from silence

innate melodies of mud and fire into mugs

          that become children.


Crestone Poetry Festival:
Feb. 27 -28

Friday, February 19th, 2021

Please join us for a FREE virtual Poemfest with your favorite poets…

from the Sangre de Cristo mountains and beyond. Our virtual festival this year will be a reunion of the community we’ve enjoyed the past three years. The fourth annual Poemfest will be different from those in years past, but we will feature some of the best writers in Colorado and New Mexico, and we will pass the gourd.

Visit to register!

Midnight Transmission Reading

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Here are four poems from my recent reading with hosts Jesse Maloney and Orlando White. With the help of a vile vial of liquid ginseng, this old girl managed to stay awake past midnight!

For more videos of this and other Midnight Transmission readings, please visit Jesse 5-0 Productions.

Blue Daughters
Sutra for Letting Go of Aversion

Walking the Burn Reading

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
Walking the Burn


Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

I wrap all my bright
jagged shards in lead, solder
their seams, hold them up.


White Woods

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Gentle graupel in the aspen grove
where many trees have also fallen,
bark peeling, drunken leaning
on others, angles reminiscent
of the makeshift forts of youth.
Leo lost his collar on a branch, dodged
my effort to slide it over his face,
whitened with age, ID tag tinkling.
Except for a few sawed off limbs
that otherwise would have interfered
with the trail—one amputee looking oddly
like a gas mask in this time of Covid-19,
one letter off of making me think
of nineteen ravens on a road—
the whole wooden mess a testament
to this town’s peace with entropy,
its loving pact with benign neglect, to let
woods be woods without human
meddling. Lightly pelted from above,
the dogs jogged on, occasionally
looking up at sky, wondering, mouths
open, catching graupel. Our coats,
speckled white, became wet.
We walked on, admiring the creek,
lapping its song here and there.
Thunder rolled. Hank reined in
the tangled thread of his roaming
at my side. Lost in thoughts
of Hank-turned-Christo, weaving
the forest white with yarn spooling off
his black back, I also lost track of Leo.
Liverspotted with his usual fear
of thunder, he disappeared. I called
and called his name, whistled
our whistle to silence and empty trail
for too long. Maybe he was quivering
in a lump under some ponderosa
I had missed while dreaming aspen,
woven yarn, graupel. Five minutes
from the car, my phone rang
inside my pocket. It was Caroline.
“Leo’s here. He showed up shivering.
Lucy is consoling him.” And she was,
when I arrived, with her customary
sniffs and licks, full red-body wag.
He could have landed anywhere,
at any other home. We laughed
at the wonder of dogs, the miracle
of a nose threading space with hope
toward a friendly door from the deep
heart of woods and mountain thunder.


Anatomy of a Mason Jar

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

First you were for cucumbers,
Bread and butter pickles I taught
Him to love, their yellow
Stain brightening egg salad.

Or was it beets, the obscene
Lolling eyeballs of earth. Red.
Your glass a lantern full
Of cloved, impossible sight.

It doesn’t matter. Rusted ring, lid lost,
You have outlasted better glasses
In the cabinet, crystal goblets,
Cheap tumblers, stately beer pints.

Our finest, my pride,
For serving guests wine despite
Hard water marks on your shoulders,
Mineral threads along your neck.

Humble belly of water, tattooed
Name in raised script, you are the vessel
At my bedside, the three a.m.
Wide mouth kiss against parched lips.

Settling back into the down,
When he hands you to me
In the prairie dark of dawn,
You are his clear promise.


How Often Do You Check on a Sleeping Baby?

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Weeks, I woke
in the dark attic room
held my breath
or shuffled blind
hands before me
searching corners
navigating the wake
of a sharp-sloped roof
to his bedside
to listen to him breathe—
my boy on the cusp
of the loaded void
or seventeen.

Winter Solstice Live Radio Broadcast

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Please join Liquid Light Press poets M.D. Friedman, Rachel Kellum, Lynda La Rocca & Erika Moss Gordon this Sunday, December 21, 2014 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm, on KFRC Radio’s Poetry Show (88.9 FM in Fort Collins, CO) or…

Stream live on the internet at:

Visit Liquid Light Press poets at:

NFSPS Poetry Awards

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

The National Federation of State Poetry Societies has announced the winners of its 2014 contests. I am pleased to learn that three of my poems were honored:

The Margo Award:
“Tiny Birds,” third place (out of 167 entries), forthcoming in the 2014 anthology, Encore.

NFSPS Founders Award:
And We Will Bloom,” 3rd Honorable Mention (out of 363 entries)

Peace Award:
Practicing English with Geshe-la,” 2nd Honorable Mention (out of 138 entries)

A complete list of all winners can be found here.

Write A Poem A Day
for National Poetry Month

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

It’s my favorite month for so many reasons. Spring. My birthday. National Poetry Month. Last year was grueling writing a poem a day, but I’ve committed to trying again. I think I missed a couple days last April when I fell in love. Still in love. Still writing.


KDNK Carbondale Radio Features Poets
of the Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

A posse of poets—Eric Walter, accompanied on guitar by his gifted son, Jacob, Stewart Warren and I—joined Kim Nuzzo of the Aspen Poets Society on KDNK to promote the third annual Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival at the Thunder River Theatre. What a great time we had sharing our poems and putting out the good word!

To listen to the show, check out Poets March 29, 2013.

While I’m at it, here is a sweet review of the festival worth checking out by Art Goodtimes.

In The Nervous Breakdown

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

The Nervous Breakdown recently featured my poem, “Waking into Sleep, Take Your Waking Slow,” as well as a self-interview.

The Book

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Rachel Kellum’s first chapbook, ah, is now available at Liquid Light Press.


What others are saying about ah:

“With lush language and vivid lyric, Rachel Kellum explores the many folds of silence—such sweet paradox! These are poems that open us, creating whole meadows in the mind. Intuitive, vulnerable, and surprisingly funny, ah invites us to slough our own layers and lean into quietude.” 

~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, author of The Miracle Already Happening and Holding Three Things at Once and Poet Laureate of San Miguel County, Colorado (2007-2011)


“Rachel Kellum’s volume, ah, embodies precisely what its title promises. In these poems the author plays words against silence not only in sense, as emphasized by the very first poem “Where Words Wait,” but also in sound. She works in phrases that seem carefully measured for the breath, and which both connect to and depart from preceding phrases in a way that left me catching my breath. The poems compel the reader to seek an unlashing of the mind from superficial concerns, and to enjoy the resulting excursions, accepting the awkwardness when you return to focus on the corporeal, as in “Waking Into Sleep, Take Your Waking Slow.” The poems are airy and playful, supporting the relaxation they propose. Though these poems emerged from a particular year’s Buddhist meditation practice, they are commended by the author in the afterword not only to “Buddhist practitioners, but also anyone interested in engaging with the rich space of their own awareness.” Indeed the spiritual message in these poems is quite subtle and accessible, with the exception of “Sutra For Poets Who Would Be Buddhas,” where the author clearly had to get a few matters off her chest in order to ease back into the breathing. Even this brief turn in tone underscores the honesty of the collection overall. There are a few places in the poems where my ear was brought out of its ease by choices in word or phrase, but such is the effect of the whole that even such minor technical objections did not prevent my enjoyment of this volume, did not shatter the promised ah!” 

~Uche Ogbuji, poetry editor of The Nervous Breakdown


“Rachel Kellum is a fine poet. Her lines dazzle, racing quicksilver across the page. But this book is less about craft’s elegant spigot and more the slow burn of shared realizations. From deep in her practice, Kellum’s poems walk barefoot over perfection’s hot embers, igniting the lyric kindling in us.” 

~ Art Goodtimes, Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope


“In this beautiful group of poems, Rachel Kellum becomes her meditation practice lab. She allows herself to feel vulnerable, and undo many of the usual modes of thinking. In fact, she connects, through the wonderful Bonpo Dzogchen teachings from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, to her inner space, struggling with silence and the expressions of sound and words that manifest from it, and allows these writings to come as metaphors of her meditation experience. Sometimes she finds herself shining, other times entangled with her own words and thoughts. An honest account of her meditation practice, especially when she can look without bias between breaths. Among Rachel’s many wonderful words, I stay with these: Dry your tears. It isn’t in books. It is you. Sit….Then you become the sky book you read.” 

~Alejandro Chaoul, author, international meditation instructor, Director of Research at Ligmincha Institute

Featured Poet at Talking Gourds and Poet’s Co-p TV

Saturday, June 9th, 2012


At Wilkinson Public Library, Telluride, Colorado:

Interview with Rachel Kellum by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Art Goodtimes

Open Mic and Reading by Rachel Kellum

Also, catch a clip of Rachel’s April 2012 performance on Poets' Co-op TV