Sweet Connections: Kathleen Kirk

Each week we will be connecting with our contributors showing where they have been, where they are now, and what’s up for the future.

Name: Kathleen Kirk
Title of Pieces Published in Sweet: “Winter Starlings,” “A Man’s World,” and “Harpoon”
Issue: 4.1, 6.2, and 8.3

Kathy & Tony, close up on wharf, 2018

Find Her:
Kathleen can be found at the Normal Public Library in central Illinois most weekday mornings, behind the scenes, or in her home office, working on Escape Into Life, where she is the poetry editor. You can learn more about Kathleen by visiting her blog.

What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?

I have published several poetry chapbooks. The most recent is Spiritual Midwifery (Red Bird, 2019), and before that, The Towns (Unicorn Press, 2018). I did both release readings at Ryburn Place, a Route 66 shop in my hometown. Some of the towns in The Towns are on, or just off, old Route 66. The cover of Spiritual Midwifery is based on a painting by my husband, Tony Rio.


Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?

I’ve been writing a series of poems about Cassandra, the mythological figure, but re-situated in the Midwest in the 21st century. It’s fun and weird. Many have been published in literary magazines, but I would like to see them all together in a chapbook. I thought I had written them all but a new bunch burst from me recently. It’s been a little scary being taken over by Cassandra.

Who is your favorite author?

Oh, my, I love many authors and read constantly. Lately I’ve been reading short stories again. I love that form. I had just been re-reading Ann Packer’s Swim Back to Me and recommended it to a friend, who also loved it.

What is your favorite poem/essay/book?

I often return to The Wild Iris by Louise Glück.

What inspires you to write?

Looking at the world, paying attention. Trying to figure things out…and resting in paradox.

What is your favorite sweet?

I’m about to bake the annual pumpkin bread from a recipe from a childhood friend in Nebraska. Sometimes I add chocolate chips. Sometimes I make a gluten-free version for my mom.

Thank you, Kathleen, for taking the time to reconnect with us.  We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

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