Donika Kelly

Cindy Seip

Donika Kelly is the author of the poetry collection Bestiary (Graywolf Press), and the chapbook Aviarium (500 Places). Her latest book, The Renunciations: Poems (Graywolf Press), is a collection that speaks of resilience, survival, and the journey to radically shift one’s sense of self in the face of trauma. These poems construct life rafts and sanctuaries even in their most devastating confrontations with what a person can bear, with how families harm themselves. With the companionship of “the oracle” – an observer of memory who knows how each close call with oblivion ends – the act of remembrance becomes curative, and personal mythologies give way to a future defined less by wounds than by possibility. The New Yorker said, “These poems map the overlapping geographies of trauma and desire, combining Ovidian imagery with an emphasis on omission, redaction, and revision.”