Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Kim Roberts Strikes a Chord with New Book

Kim Roberts, our local poetry mistress--as I like to call her--, has a new book out. Animal Magnetism, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize (Pearl Editions, 2011) made its debut earlier this year and has struck a chord with many with its echoes of far away places.

For example:

from The Falnama of 1703, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

O augury seeker,
           know and be aware…
     In the book of divination,

Hippocrates rides the simurgh,
           a mythical bird,
     as he returns to his home

carved from emeralds
           on Mount Qaf.
     With his white turban,

scholar’s dark beard,
           and bright orange robe,
     he looks over one shoulder

and strokes the bird’s
           golden tail feathers
     as she flits through an azure sky

between eddies of clouds.
           Healer of the sick,
     Builder of the first hospital,

Master of alchemy,
           astrology and magic,
     I have prepared myself

for your prognostication
           with bathing and prayers,
     opened the book in my blindness,

opened my heart in hope
           and placed my body,
my wounded body, in your hands.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Kim Roberts from Animal Magnetism. Reprinted by permission.

Kim Roberts has two other book of poetry and is also the author of the nonfiction book Lip Smack: A History of Spoken Word Poetry in DC (Beltway Editions, 2011) and the editor of the anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010). Her poems have been translated into Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin, and she is the recipient of residency grants from twelve artist colonies across the US. She has developed a series of literary walking tours of Washington, DC, celebrating such writers as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and others. For over ten years, Roberts has edited the online journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Visit her website: Kim Roberts.

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