The Walrus Wives | Kelsea Habecker
Kelsea Habecker’s first book of poetry, Hollow Out, was selected by US Poet Laureate Charles Simic and published through New Rivers Press. Kelsea has received grants and fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in New York, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She earned her MFA in poetry from Bennington Writing Seminars and her BA from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly Fellowship in poetry, and received the John Haines award. She was a semi-finalist in the Bakeless Poetry Prize through Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, and Hollow Out was nominated for a Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry and for a PEN Literary Award. Kelsea teaches university creative writing and leads writing retreats at retreat centers in the US and abroad. For five years, Kelsea was a teacher in a remote Inupiaq Eskimo village in the Arctic region of Alaska, an experience that informs much of her writing.
Ravens call out for carrion.
Brown thrashers divorce
their hunger on circumboreal
junipers. Fog settles on the shore
of the Arctic coast I call home
for now. A pitying of wrens
crowd a cranberry bush. Murders watch
from spruce tops while an unkindness lifts
the sky from telephone poles. A cloud
of gulls float the swells. I am too
weighted. Better a bird
that only diagrams the world
to it. I have learned
new words for love. The soft
consonants round like berries
I bend low to gather. Each one pulls
loose with a snap.