New Release: Wave Says by K.M. English

Kazim Ali, author of Inquisition and All One’s Blue, says of English’s Wave Says:

“These gorgeous lines unravel like water, a wave as motion, lines of a poem, individual poems in a book, not precisely separate from one another but manifestations of momentum.”

Poet K.M. English makes her literary debut on May 15, 2021 with Wave Says, an impressionistic, eco-poetic collection inspired by the behavior of waves. English’s work enacts a theory of energies-in-presence and collapses borders (between interior/exterior, past/present, the living/dead) rendering a relational, distinctly feminist matrix of language, history, feeling, and body.

From the floods in Katrina, to a child murdered by the water, to waves of grief, salt water rising, and an Orca carrying her dead baby on her back, Wave Says explores ideas of what drowns us. By turns philosophical, political, and elegiac, this watery work focuses on the power of imagination and memory, on our collective complicity in violence and our responsibilities—to one another, the earth, and the silences within ourselves.

Kore Press editors, who selected the work from hundreds of manuscripts submitted during an annual open reading period, were taken by English’s originality, her invitation to tune in to what is unseen, and how the unseen gives shape to rupture. With taut lyrics and pressurized white space that creates a wave-like motion on the page, Wave Says is a tool for speaking back to power, for speaking with ongoing creation in a perpetually shifting interaction.


Praise for Wave Says

“Wave Says is the inverse of so-called trauma therapy, that method which repeatedly returns the patient back to the site of injury to take away its effect. These poems live starkly in the present, enacting an ontology where return is impossible.”—Claudia Keelan, author of We Step into the Sea

“In English’s strikingly gorgeous poems (at turns Dickinsonian in contractionand Woolfian in expansion), shore and sea, beauty and violence touch and over-lap, define and refine one another.”—Sasha Steensen, author of Gatherest, and Openings: Into Our Vertical Cosmos


K.M. English is the author of Wave Says, a finalist for the Sawtooth Prize, the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, the Test Site Book Prize, and a semifinalist for the CSU Press First Book Prize. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Community of Writers and Vermont Studio Center, and her poetry can be found in places such as Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Bone Bouquet, Third Coast, and Poetry Northwest. A daughter of Troy, NY, and mistress of the city of New Orleans, K.M. English currently raises two boys and eleven fruit trees  in California.

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