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Poems of a family in crisis, of infidelity, of sexual discovery, and of 40 years of pop culture. This is Render.
Render by Collin Kelley
Publication Date: 04/16/2013
6 x 9 Perfect-Bound Paperback
Retail Price: $14.95; 78 Pages
Featuring Cover Photography by Colin Potts
To render is to strip away, to make clear. With Render, Collin Kelley has a story to tell, one that is shaped by language that both shutters and illuminates meaning. Kelley’s elegiac, soaring series of poems, serve as an open invitation to join him on his brave, ribald romp across the landscape of his memory. What unfolds is as intimate—and at the same time, as exposed—as underthings pinned to a clothesline. Render presents a de-constructed world which Kelley brilliantly re-constructs through his deft use of language: a world which is Kelley’s for the mending, amending, and, ultimately, ours for the rending.
- Vanessa Daou, musician and poet
Collin Kelley’s poems are postcards from the past—from journeys taken and dreamed, from places half-remembered or half-wanted, of people lost but not forgotten. The blurring of the memories conflate America’s collective history—the Civil War, pop culture, heroes—with individual history, where marriages divide and fall and actresses act as saviors and guides. ‘Expect imperfections and subtle debris,’ the final poem suggests. Kelley’s voice is neither imperfect nor broken here—these are poems of salvage, where even the Titanic is raised, where everyone we’ve loved or failed can be restored. Where we find ourselves renewed.
– Charles Jensen, author of The First Risk
Render is an absolutely beautiful telling of a life in poems: brave, direct, and crafted in short narratives that are both satisfying and disturbing in all the best ways—ways in which we need to be disturbed, in which the reader is given the pleasure and honor of an authentic voice. I read Kelley’s book straight through, and was both sorry and sated at the end. I recommend it to everyone in the queer arena and beyond who craves a poetry of depth, insight, and luminous humanity.
– Maureen Seaton, author of Fibonacci Batman: New & Selected Poems (1991-2011)
In poems that flash like a series of snapshots, Collin Kelley’s Render captures the story of a boy who must survive a mother bent on disintegration and a culture built upon the illusions created by pop-iconography. Unlike the images we share on social media or press into albums, these poems do not attempt to reshape the past into self-deceptions meant to fill life’s “white vistas / of empty pages…” with something comforting or nostalgic. These poems confess that our journeys are often brutal and unlovely, that at best “a blue sky and clouds are impossible to render” and that we should “expect imperfections and subtle debris.” These poems are the photographs we never intend to take but somehow always find, years later, tucked into the shoebox of memory, fully developed in the darkness we so carefully keep.
- Daniel Nathan Terry, author of Waxwings
ABOUT THE POET
Collin Kelley is the author of the novels Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, which was a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. His poetry collections include Better To Travel, Slow To Burn and After the Poison. Kelley is also the author of the short story collection, Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. He lives in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit www.collinkelley.com.