Praise for Gutterflower

“The poems in Gutterflower break open what is dammed and what is damned. It is not a book about floods that are expected to come, rather what has already come, what is left, what is just under the surface of the dirt that covers everything. Nalley shows us that no matter what color the dirt is, no matter the blood on the hand that churns it, we “bloom where (we) are planted.” Gutterflower, balanced somewhere between grit and grace, picks at the skin that surrounds our scars to remind that we can’t fully heal, if we can’t fully accept. It is hard. It is unflinching. And it is fucking brilliant.” ~Ray McManus, author of Punch. and Red Dirt Jesus

“Kathleen Nalley’s Gutterflower employs exquisite prose poems to explore American violence—behind closed doors and in the streets. With grit and grace, Nalley’s troubling narratives become our own. Her visceral and arresting scenes pop and explode, each like a home movie, each a testimony. The joys of the outside world—Neil Armstrong, Elvis, donut holes, Wheel of Fortune, Fantasy Island, a Happy Meal toy—contrast and complicate each drama as girl becomes woman, as patterns repeat, then burst apart into a welcome, beautifully earned, and unlikely joy.” ~Denise Duhamel, author of SCALD

“Kathleen Nalley writes with the grit of rusted barbed wire, a beauty in the woven line, the points filed needle sharp. Gutterflower is a marvelous collection, a gripping testimonial for a people too often silenced.” ~David Joy, author of The Weight Of This World

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Nesting Doll

About Nesting Doll:
“Her poems of confession are never sentimental and self-pitying, but are works turned into elegant living artifacts by the salt and ice of her technical and formal skill.” ~Kwame Dawes





American Sycamore

About American Sycamore:
“Kathleen Nalley’s American Sycamore is a book that is both intimate and panoramic. Her work wrestles with the sacred and the postmodern, the intimacies in domestic routine, and the ‘big’ questions only poems are equipped to answer. Kathleen Nalley’s poetry is a gorgeous testament to life’s beauty, cruelty, and survival.” ~Denise Duhamel, author of SCALD

“In American Sycamore, Kathleen Nalley deploys her trademark energy, wit, and sharp eye in slyly political poems that variously celebrate, cerebrate, and unsettle. ‘Sometimes nothing’s better than the feel/of scraping old paint from the windowsill,’ Nalley writes, in lines that characterize the collection as a whole: elemental, domestic, intent upon seeing what lies below the surface.” ~Suzanne Cleary, author of Beauty Mark

“Kathleen Nalley is a poet who savors the world we see as well as the world we feel moving beneath it. In poems such as ‘Another Day,’ ‘Girl Named After Flowers,’ ‘Discord’ and ‘American Sycamore,’ readers will find lines rich in celebration of the particular, the local, the every day, the broken, and the exalted. Nalley reminds us of what it means to have a life, to wade deeply into it. She understands how the ‘bees of doubt’ pollinate our fears, and how ‘even without the enemy present/the eye catches’ the viper’s venom. But Nalley’s poems don’t give in to those doubts and threats. Ultimately, these are poems that seek hope and demonstrate how to ‘become the master of that which terrifies.’ ‘Resistance,’ Nalley writes, ‘our DNA: to ward off, to emerge, to fight.’ Filled with wisdom and wit, the poems of American Sycamore declare the presence of a new and exciting talent.” ~Rick Mulkey, author of Ravenous

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