Kendra Tanacea

Kendra Tanacea (Poetry) | San Francisco, CA

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Kendra Tanacea, an attorney in San Francisco, holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees was a semifinalist for the Washington Prize and a finalist for the Idaho Prize for Poetry, and was published by Lost Horse Press in 2017. Her second book, Garbage Heart, was a semifinalist for The Elixir Press 17th Annual Poetry Award and the Two Sylvias’ 2016 Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize. Kendra’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 5AM, Rattle, Moon City Review, El Portal, Cape Rock, The Coachella Review, Stickman Review, Inscape, Barely South Review, and Juked, among others. In 2017, her poem “Perennial” was featured on the radio show The Writer’s Almanac.


A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees (Lost Horse Press, 2017). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

The passions and quiet violences that bind us and drive us apart fuel these poems. Tanacea writes with uncluttered immediacy and incandescent candor about domesticity, drugs, family, memory, divorce, sex as spirituality, fertility, horses and more. How can you resist a poet who employs “white-nightgowning” as a verb! Restraint and empathy undergird this collection, magnify the poems’ emotional power. Tanacea allows tangible things their uncanny ability to make the ineffable eloquent. Stirring, elegant and rueful, the poems are affective x-rays, illuminating the darkly erotic, the architecture of intimacy.
—Amy Gerstler

Kendra Tanacea’s A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees is a glorious paean to perseverance in the face of life’s passages. Sparse, irreverent, and ardent, these poems, with all of their poignant humor and fervid intelligence, are rooted in a belief that artful language heals and we survive because of a steady reaffirmation of the powers of song.
—Major Jackson

What a terrific collection! What I particularly like about these poems: their plain-speaking, their verbal economy. Her subjects are not unusual—sex, family, domestica—but there are verbal surprises all the way through, and even the longer poems have an epigrammatic quality. A book of poems that has depth of feeling but is also fun to read.
—Ed Ochester

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