Nonfiction by Kelly Cherry

Girl in a Library: On Women Writers & the Writing Life

Girl in a Library is an essay collection about coming of age and asserting authority as a Southern woman writer and reader of her generation, as well as review essays about diverse Southern women writers. Essays touch upon such themes as cultural diversity, feminism, literary enthusiasm, and American culture. The collection ends with an autobiographical essay reflecting on the author’s own previous work. A serious yet often humorous collection, Girl in a Library is both poignant and surprising.


History, Passion, Freedom, Death, and Hope: Prose About Poetry

Award-winning poet Kelly Cherry is also an advocate of serious thinking about poetry. Collected here are the results of thirty years of her thinking, including some pieces published for the first time. She tackles such large questions as: Why poetry? What is a poem? What is the relationship of poetry to history? Is the poem an aesthetic object or a form of communication? Her answers are enlightening, broadly applicable, persuasive, and sometimes personally revealing. She writes with sympathy and understanding and, always, a willingness to be surprised and educated. In these pages, insights abound, ideas provoke, wit shines, and the prose has the grace and power of poetry.



Writing the World

In a series of humorous observations, this work explores the art of writing, its relationship to place and its importance in our lives. The author also reflects on being a women writer.


Exiled Heart: A Meditative Autobiography

In 1965, Cherry, an American novelist and poet ( My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers) , met Imant Kalman, a married, Latvian composer, in a Moscow hotel lobby and fell in love at first sight. Their romance lasted for almost 25 years, but Communist bureaucracy and intimidation effectively kept them apart and prevented their marriage. Cherry charts the frustrations of their long-distance courtship, nourished chiefly by communications smuggled out of the Soviet Union and by glimmers of hope for the finalization of Imant’s divorce. She describes their reunions, one in 1975, another in the late ’80s; attests to her growing appreciation of Latvian culture; and accepts Kalman’s marriage to another woman.

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