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Hourglass Museum Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 108 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $0.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews


Reader, you won't be disappointed with this book, I promise. You will learn so much about looking, within the self and beyond. You will glean the wisdom of someone who has been writing her way toward a deeper knowing for a long time, then showing what she has learned simply and artfully through the things of this world. For instance: "The future is a paper airplane hitting me in the face.//It never lands softly."

Julie Marie Wade from The Rumpus

Full review here:

The poems in Hourglass Museum may be triggered by visual art and artists, but they read as Kelli Russell Agodon's very personal struggle with making poetry and living with the consequences--artistic, social, emotional. It's an intelligently conceived and moving collection, and the greatest pleasure of all is the line-by-line revelation of the poems, which are always lively, witty (even when they are sad), surprising, musical, addictive. Reading these poems is a joy.
~ Kathleen Flenniken, Washington State Poet Laureate 

From the Author

The poems in Hourglass Museum explore living life with an undeniable yearning to create. 
I tried to create a reckoning throughout the book, a balancing of the scales between art and life. Many of the poems in this manuscript rely on art--famous and otherwise--to explore relationships and to help interpret life and the world around us. I am interested in how art influences us and how images and interactions with art can carry us from one place to another, such as seeing a painting of a fig tree then having it bring back a memory of one's childhood home. 
In this book, I tried to created a paper museum.  The book is divided into different exhibits from portraits to a sketchbook of nudes. I allowed art from artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, and Beauford Delaney to influence my writing.  Sometimes I find myself feeling almost overwhelmed with the beauty created by others and this book reflects that as well as the vulnerability (and sometimes unbalance) we may feel while living as artists in the world.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2793 KB
  • Print Length: 108 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Two Sylvias Press (February 14, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 14, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IGUTF16
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kelli Russell Agodon is an award-winning poet, writer, and editor from the Northwest.

Her most recent books are a third collection of poems, Hourglass Museum, a Finalist for the Washington State Book Awards and short-listed for the Julie Suk Poetry Prize honoring the best book of poems published by a small press and The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice , which she co-authored with Martha Silano.

Kelli is also the author of Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room (winner of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize) was chosen by ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year in Poetry and was a Finalist in the Washington State Book of the Year Awards, Small Knots (2004), Geography, winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and edited Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry with Annette Spaulding-Convy.

Kelli was born and raised in Seattle and educated at the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University's Rainier Writing Workshop where she received her MFA in creative writing.

Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, O, The Oprah Magazine, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, as well as on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor's and in Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times anthology.

Kelli is the Cofounder of Two Sylvias Press where she works as an editor and book designer, and is the Co-Director of Poets on the Coast: A Retreat for Women Poets. Currently, she lives in the Northwest with her family, where she is an avid paddleboarder, mountain biker, and hiker.

Visit her webpage at:
or stay in touch with her on Facebook:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
In Hourglass Museum, Agodon chronicles and articulates the struggle artists live--How does one live an authentically creative life and be a wife/mother/wage earner? (Husband/father can be substituted.) Not readily apparent in that question are all the bigger, harder questions embedded in it:

Is being creative a luxury? Does creativity matter? What if it doesn't amount to anything? Was it worth what was sacrificed for it? Is one selfish for taking time away from other things to create? (Other MORE IMPORTANT things is what is often said/implied/felt.)

Agodon addresses these questions and more in Hourglass Museum and does so in the most deft investigations of the ways in which artists give themselves to others, and more importantly, the ways they give themselves permission (or not) to lead productive, fulfilling creative lives. These investigations are explored in poems that are a tour of delight in perception and language.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The poetry in Hourglass Museum is worth ten times what you will pay for it. There are so many wonderful metaphors in this book I hesitate to share them with you because each is so masterfully woven into the very fabric of the book I would be quoting pages at a time. You deserve to read the book in its entirety. Hourglass Museum is the first book of poems in quite a while that makes me want to tell all my friends about it, even if they already own a copy. Kelli Russell Agodon has proven yet again how devoted she is to the art of poetry and how integral it is to her life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There’s much to admire about Hourglass Museum, but here’s what I loved most: Kelli Russell Agodon is just charmingly and elegantly clever with words. Hers is not the look-at-me, jokey kind of cleverness, but the kind that emerges seemingly without effort to stun you with its grace and aptness. I read these lines over and over from the poem “Drowning Girl: A Waterlogged Ars Poetica” to savor their sound and substance.

There’s no dessert in the picnic basket/so I swallow time. My mouth full/of hands and numbers. I ask for seconds.

Agodon manages to achieve a playfulness while pulling you under to the poem’s depths. Throughout the book, she mixes melancholy with cheekiness, longing with mock (and, sometimes, real) rebellion.

The book opens with an epigraph by Anais Nin: Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. There are in these poems, many references to escape. There is mention of exits and entrances, doorways and windows and where they might lead: museums, an unlocked cage, a church, or in “Death of a Housewife, Oil on Linen” an entirely new existence: …what she wanted/was to tango with another or a key/to unlock the front door and waltz/herself into another life.

Agodon also considers how our veneration for our heroes can both inspire and shrink us. In “Frida Kahlo Tattoo,” she writes: I wear a temporary tattoo/of Frida Kahlo believing/I can change the world/and if not the world/then a lightbulb, the channel…

Many of the poems are inspired by paintings, and the reader can almost imagine the poems themselves framed and hanging in a museum. The book has four parts, each dealing with an aspect of work in an exhibition, rendering in words the quirky, keen depths of the poet’s vision. In her prologue poem, Agodon invites the reader to …look up and see the madness/organized in the stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Hourglass Museum, Kelli Russell Agodon has a trifecta! First as a book, second for the individual poems and finally for the many stand alone gems that dot the landscape of this work.

Agodon tackles many common poetry themes with uncommon grandeur, making this
book thoroughly fresh. Exploring the intersections of life and art, Hourglass Museum offers a smart look at the creative lifestyle. It’s a personal and honestly expressed journey that is real; complete with life’s rough edges, questions and longing. The text is replete with impressive metaphors.

Many of the poems are of ekphrastic nature which offers great artistic latitude and is certainly a factor in what makes this poetry so fresh and enjoyable.

One of my favorite poems is Self Portrait with Reader. Agodon writes:

We must live with our hearts
in our hands— like Mary.

We must hold the blood-
red heart and not be disappointed
when others look away.

This is what we do with art… This is what Agodon had done with these poems. I encourage you to not look away.
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Format: Paperback
A line from La Magie Noire intrigues and inspires me-
"Imagination: taking madness and giving it a loving home"
It allows me to believe that we can bring imagination and madness into our living rooms, writing studios, kitchens, school buses, class trips, hospitals. Kelli does this with a skillful heart. Her brave, poignant foray into the museum of her life so far is tempered by her searching questions about how she fits in. She writes with integrity about what it takes to be a poet and housewife, mother, sister, daughter, trying to make sense of the need to create, to be herself, in a world that doesn't revere the process.
Her poems are intense, witty and at times brilliant.
They are also vulnerable and aware. There is a little madness. The book is refreshingly honest.

Worth every minute, every hour, reading.
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