Meet the Authors: Kelly Grace Thomas

Interview conducted by American Literary Review Editors

Kelly Grace Thomas  is the author of the poetry collection Boat Burnedout from YesYes Books. Her poem “Life/Boat” appeared in our Spring 2018 issue. Kelly will be signing her poetry collection, Boat Burned, at AWP at the ALR table (T1353) on Thursday from 12-1pm. We asked Kelly a few questions in anticipation of meeting her in person at AWP.

ALR: What was the last book you read, in any genre, that taught you something new about your craft as a poet?

Kelly Grace Thomas: I recently read Danez Smith’s Homie and learned so much about craft and celebration from it. The way they innovate language, how they use surprise so strategically, could be a year-long course. I love their unexpected metonymy and portmanteau, and all the ways language can shock and experiment while still being grounded. 

But most of all, I loved the humor and celebration in this collection. My work has a lot of sadness, so while reading Homie I was taking notes on how humor and lightness was used as a touchstone, even during heavier poems. 

ALR: What kinds of research feed your creative process—music, movies, non-literary texts, archival work, etc?