friday feast: adele kenny’s chosen ghosts

#11 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.

Adele with her Yorkshire terrier, Chaucey

There’s nothing I love more than having a new-to-me poet like Gail Gerwin knock on my virtual kitchen door with a delicious poem in hand and then have that gift lead to even more deliciousness.

After “meeting” Gail and swooning over the poem sequence she’d written about her mother Cele’s cooking, I asked if she knew of any other poets who might like to join our Potluck. She suggested Sondra Gast (who’ll be here next week) and today’s lovely guest, Adele Kenny.

Adele’s paternal grandparents (1920)

Adele is truly a poet’s poet; her first poems date back to childhood (wonderful samples here), and just by reading today’s excerpt you’ll get a good sense of the exquisite craftsmanship she employs in her writing. I love the layers of emotion, her textured, sensual imagery, crisp diction, and haunting lyricism.

Such a rare treat to have Adele share this ancestral communion with us, as well as the wonderful family photos and recipe. A genealogy buff, Adele’s been able to trace her family back to 1600 in Staffordshire! With my love of England and Irish American relatives, it’s safe to say Adele is a kindred spirit. ☺

Adele: The following poem is an updated excerpt from the title poem of my book Chosen Ghosts (Muse-Pie Press, 2001).  I worked on the first version of this poem while I was “gathering history” in a genealogical study of my Irish and English ancestors, and this poem tells how welcome those “ghosts” are in my life. Sharing this poem, a family recipe, and a bit about their backstories is a special kind of  “life writing.”

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