For some people, reading and writing are creative outlets that allow them to tap into the extraordinary without being hindered by “reality.” For Kenda Tanacea, a San Francisco-based poet and attorney, poetry is that outlet, and it gives her the chance to let the mundane aspects of everyday life fall away. “Poetry excites me through its unexpected connections and gradual unveiling,” Tanacea told OLY ARTS. “I like nothing better than to allow my mind to range all over the place, wild and unbridled.” In celebration of her newly published poetry collection, A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, Tanacea will hold a poetry reading at Browsers Bookshop.
“I hope readers of this collection feel as if I’m talking directly to them with unflinching honesty. I hope my words and images gong inside them,” Tanacea said of her upcoming reading, part of a spring reading tour across California, Oregon, Washington state and New York City. A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees is Tanacea’s first published book, released in March by Lost Horse Press. “(It’s) a collection of poetry about our closest relationships: family of origin, romantic relationships, marriage, children and stepchildren,” explained Tanacea. “It embraces competing themes of permanence versus impermanence, and of attempts to actively change life’s course versus fatalistic acceptance.”
Tanacea holds a master of fine arts in writing and literature from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, and is known in the literary world for her sincerity and candor. OLY ARTS asked what she hopes readers take away from her work. “We all know that life is hard and full of loss, yet we persevere through beauty and grace — and humor. There must always be humor,” she said.
Although originally from Monroe, Connecticut, Tanacea considers San Francisco home after moving there in 1988. Her first poetry collection, If You’re Lucky Nobody Gets Hurt, was a finalist for the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and several of her poems have been featured on the popular radio show The Writer’s Almanac. Her work can be found in Juked, Licking River Review and North American Review.
What: Kendra Tanacea
When: 7 p.m. Friday, May 26
Where: Browsers Bookshop,
107 Capitol Way N, Olympia
How much: free
Learn more: 360-357-7462 | Browsers Bookshop