- Paperback: 78 pages
- Publisher: Sibling Rivalry Press, LLC (April 16, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1937420345
- ISBN-13: 978-1937420345
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,747,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Render Paperback – April 16, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Collin Kelley is the author of the novels Conquering Venus and Remain in Light, which was a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. His poetry collections include Better to Travel, Slow to Burn and After the Poison. Kelley is also the author of the short story collection Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley's poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. He lives in Atlanta, GA.
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Top Customer Reviews
I like story-telling poets, and Kelley's a good one. These are stories of family (in dysfunctional glory!), growing up, coming to terms with a life that's not anywhere near being over. Looking forward to his next volume of poems.
Collin Kelley's new book of poems called "Render" is an exquisite, sometimes painful, sometimes funny coming-of-age look at growing up as an outsider, one of "them," as gay people were often thought of in the 60's, 70's, and 80's, especially in the small town South.
What makes Mr. Kelley's collection of poems quite hypnotic is his love of and wizardry with language, which seduces the reader without any trouble at all. The issues he deals with are both well known social ones ("Freedom Train") and intensely personal ("To Margot Kidder, With Love"). He's never self-pitying or maudlin, yet he's full of gentle, passionate remembrances of things past; and, fair warning, if you start, you're a goner.
His titles are startling and witty, and the poems more than deliver what the titles promise. The poems are lovely, sexy, and yearning and reveal wisdom that is both sad and defiant, and altogether irresistible.
Collin Kelley is a genius when it comes to confession. He teases you with brilliant titles and amazing opening lines. Once he has you hooked, he delivers sucker punches and body blows like a prize fighter. What is amazing is even after you are dumbstruck by a series of poems, your first instinct will be to read another poem, and another.
Using the disillusion (and seeming dissolution) of the American Family, Collin Kelly presents a world so many of us from his generation know all too well. We are the Post Atomic Age children, born of parents who participated or did not participate in the counter-culture of the 1960's. We are the first artificial, non-organic generation, and Kelley drives that point home by exposing the hidden narrative of his own family in some strange quiet crisis.
It's difficult for me to choose any one poem to demonstrate the building of this narrative. I can tell you there are no weak poems here, no filler. Each and every poem is essential and I cannot imagine the book any other way than how Collin has constructed it. Each poem captures with exacting precision not only the poet's memory, the thing he must share, but the details of the world at large, making each accessible in the best way possible. I do not mean accessible as in simple, because there will never be anything simple about Collin's poetry. No, accessible in the way everyone can relate to the stories he tells, because we all have memories tied to the events Collin ties his memories to.
When Collin talks about his summer at the movies while his mother is having an affair, I immediately remember my adolescent movie experiences, but also the dysfunction of my own parents' marriage. When he talks about the Bicentennial in his poem, "Freedom Train," it's his details which jar a thousand memories loose from my past, causing me to wonder why I have lost so many. When Collin talks about his early sexual encounters, especially with those boys who feel shame for their behavior, I am reminded of my own fumbled experiences early in my adolescence.
Collin Kelley succeeds with his poems because he is willing to face the truth of his past, confront the seeds which were sewn, resulting in the person he is today. He succeeds because he does this when so many of us are too afraid to do these things for ourselves. But even more so, Render is a tremendous book because it does not condemn in its confession. It lays out the reality of the world without trying to make anyone feel guilty for their past. It allows us to take from it and only wants us to share.
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