Life isn’t linear. It’s full of twists and drops, peaks and pitfalls. Sometimes paths can only be seen from a certain distance down the road.
K.M. English’s debut book of poetry isn’t particularly linear, either, both physically and emotionally. Set to be published by Tucson-based Kore Press on May 15, “Wave Says” draws from English’s settled life in Sacramento as well as past days in artistic hubs. Words dance and dive across the pages of some poems — English saw the meandering shape of “Nocturne,” which changes throughout each of the poem’s five pages, before landing on its text, for example.
“An artist creates from who they are and where they are in that place and time, both literally and figuratively,” English said. “You’re creating anew, but you’re also creating from materials that you’ve collected and are gestating in you over time, and they come out in language or ways you don’t expect or weren’t looking for necessarily.”
Raised in a household that wasn’t particularly bookish, English connected to poetry through an Introduction to creative writing class as an undergrad at Boston College. She moved between New Orleans and New York throughout her 20s, instructing first through Teach For America then while earning her Master’s in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College.
She moved back to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and met now-husband David, a former city resident in town visiting mutual friends, in 2009. He was then the opening chef at Ella Dining Room & Bar, but not for long.