Kai Coggin (Poetry) | Hot Springs National Park, AR
$350 and book sales
Kai is the author of Periscope Heart (Swimming with Elephants Publications, 2014) and her forthcoming collection, Wingspan (Golden Dragonfly Press, 2016). Her poetry has recently been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Bettering American Poetry 2015. She is also a Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council, specializing in bringing poetry and creative writing to youth.
Press & Reviews
Wingspan is broad enough, compassionate enough, to summon and shelter readers who are often left outside the margins of the literary realm. In poems which challenge us to live with greater openness and courage, Coggin addresses the natural world, the spirit, and women’s embodiment. She offers several lush poems addressed to a lover and, in part, to the reader as well: “I have spent decadent lifetimes waiting to be yours, /waiting to be in line to the throne of your mouth.” This is a book built for usefulness and delight.
—Diane Seuss, Author of Four-Legged Girl
Kai’s voice transcends earth and travels into the universe while pulling readers inward, toward their inner selves. Her words are bright, warm, and sensual. Her poems are invitations to seek your best self from within—not necessarily an easy stroll, but a journey all the same.
—Trish Hopkinson, Author of Pieced into Treetops
Wingspan is a book about becoming, transforming, and unfurling into the fullness of selfhood in all its disparate parts. “Hug yourself,” the poet invites us, to “pull in all the skin and flesh/ so that a mountain forms/ across your chest/ from which a sun can rise,” in celebration of a totality that is hard-earned and triumphant. In her sensual, full-hearted lyrical verse, Kai Coggin takes us on a journey of self-creation, self-acceptance, and self-actualization in an exploration of her multiple identities: daughter, woman, woman of color, woman of mixed race, woman who loves women, and woman of words. In the erotic feminist tradition of Sharon Olds and Adrienne Rich, Coggin locates these acts of naming and creation within the female body in a collection that swoops, soars, and delves deeply into the complexities of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and family.
—Wendy Chin-Tanner, Author of Turn
I first met Kai Coggin as a blazing fire of energy, a supernova educator in the Houston high schools. Now she is on her light path, teaching through her own poetry. Her words are spells, chants, prayers, invocations. Thank you, Kai, for work of the spirit, for illuminations like desert thunder and a night sky of benedictions.
—Sandra Cisneros, Internationally Acclaimed Author of The House on Mango Street
Kai Coggin’s first full-length collection, Periscope Heart— as the title may suggest—overflows with intimate reflections on life and love that offer the reader heartfelt observations into places ordinarily beyond our range of vision. Through sensual chronicles that beautifully illuminate taboo subjects, Coggin’s poetry draws from nature and personal narratives to intimate us with her passion for justice, social change and spirituality, in dynamic, seductive strokes.
—Catherine Ghosh, Editor of Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry by Women
Kai Coggin’s Periscope Heart is beauty mapping the dark, a canyon of becoming and letting go. It is a compass to a place where desire is no different than already-full. It beckons and peels open what is fierce in our softness. This book unleashes possibility, celebrates the wild and untethered, while slowing everything down to the heart’s pace.
—Andrea Gibson, Spoken Word Artist and Author of The Madness Vase, Winner of 2008 Women of the World Poetry Slam
- Interview, The Women Behind the Poetry
- Profile, Arkansas Online
- Interview, Idle Class Magazine
- Interview with Susan Dobbe Chase, Spoken Heard (podcast)
- Profile, Hot Spots
- Review of Periscope Heart by Dustin Pickering, Yellow Chair Review