Brockman-Campbell Book Award

Exciting news! I was honored to get a call a few weeks ago that White Lung was selected as the winner of the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2022 Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Even though I am a Coloradan now, I still consider myself a North Carolina poet, and the contest’s rules did too (and if you’ve read the book, you’ll know it’s the teensiest bit about NC (ha). The judge for the contest was Jeff Worley, a recent Poet Laureate of Kentucky.

Check out the announcement here: https://www.ncpoetrysociety.org/bcaward/

And here’s a poem by Jeff Worley, too:

Mark Your Calendars: Summer Events

I’m excited to share a few upcoming events! First, if you’re in the Denver area, mark your calendar for Friday, July 9 at 6 PM, when I’ll be reading with Suzi Q Smith at Tattered Cover’s McGregor Square location. Check it out here: https://www.tatteredcover.com/event/kimberly-oconnor-and-suzi-q-smith-live-mcgregor-square I’m beyond thrilled to share an event with Suzi; her poems are amazing, inspiring, and enthralling. This reading is free.

Next! Well, really, first—I have some events this week! On Friday, June 17, I’ll be reading at Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s Lit Fest at 4:30 PM with a terrific lineup: Sandra Newman, Lija Fisher, Nicky Beer, Daniel Levine, Ellen Barish, and Abby Chabitnoy. Register for this free event here.

And on Saturday, July 18 from noon to 1:00, I’m honored to be part of Writing Big, a panel about the role social justice plays in the stories we tell. I’ll be participating with Suzi Q. Smith, R. Alan Brooks, Angelique Stevens, Mathangi Subramanian, and Jade Wong-Baxter from the Frances Goldin Literary Agency. The event costs $20-30 to attend; you can register here. I *adore* the people on the panel, even the ones I haven’t met yet. Check them out if you don’t know them by following the links attached to their names in the lineup. (I am especially a huge fan of R. Alan Brook’s What’d I Miss; if you don’t know it, set aside an afteroon and read it all.)

And last but not least, on Saturday, June 25, the Colorado Book Awards ceremony takes place at Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House. I’m still kinda shocked to be a finalist with so many amazing authors. Get tickets here.

National Poetry Month 2022

Hi friends,

Thanks to everyone who reached out about enjoying my handwritten poems for April 2022. It turns out that the end of April was a bit of a battle and the end of April won, so I decided to wrap up the project with a single post highlighting some other poems, poets, and poemy things.

First, I got to teach a class called ”Poetry Alive” at the Golden Library in mid April. I highlighted two poet laureates, Joy Harjo (the current US Poet Laureate) and Bobby LeFebre (Colorado’s current Poet Laureate). If you want to read some of Joy’s poems, and watch one of Bobby’s, you can see the outline I used for the class here.

Speaking of Bobby LeFebre—carve out and hour and check out Cuentos de Colorado, which aired on Rocky Mountain PBS last week. It’s terrific.

Next! The first part of lyrics of a song I am loving. This is Big Thief’s song “Not.” I got to see them perform last week at Mission Ballroom in Denver. It was amazing. Listen to the song as you read for maximum pleasure.

First part of Big Thief’s ”Not”

And! I got the news in early April that White Lung is a finalist for the 2022 Colorado Book Award in poetry (!!!). On April 29, I got to read along with the other three poetry finalists, Morgan Liphart, Wayne Miller, and Ruth Obee; and the finalists in literary fiction, Claire Boyles, Wendy J. Fox, and Mark Stevens reading Gary Reilly’s work. All were amazing and I am honored to be in such great company.

Check out the full list of CO Book Award finalists and reading schedule here.

April’s over, but poetry’s still alive and well. Check out my upcoming summer camps for kids and a panel on writing for social justice at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. And—if you’re still reading and you like this blog, please follow it and maybe forward it to a friend!