Author & Artist
Author & Artist
I have loved languages in multiple forms since I was a child. Whether it be through written, spoken, or visual means, engaging with the desire we have to connect with each other and ourselves has been a lifelong endeavor.
I feel privileged to share samples of my writing and artwork with a welcoming audience.
Born hard of hearing and adopted in Luxembourg, I grew up with my deaf twin sister in Europe and the United States. I mourned the loss of her, in a sense, when she left to attend a residential school for the Deaf as a preteen, and again when she suffered a life-changing injury as an adult. A collection of poems, a memoir in verse, celebrating our twinhood and processing my loss appears in my award-nominated chapbook, Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion (Kelsay Books, 2022). In childhood, I had also taken on the roles of sign language interpreter and teacher, and I later experienced my twin’s daily absence as a profound loss. I then began a search for my own identity and place in a world without a mirror.
Links to several book reviews appear on my book page at Kelsay Books:
Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion can also be found at RIT in Rochester, New York
in the poetry section of the university’s library. A second collection entitled Echoes in My Eyes is forthcoming (Kelsay Books, 2024).
I am also the author of a collection of modern haiku and senryu poems entitled Bookmarks (Red Moon Press, 2023). Short form poetry honors include: The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems 2022 (Nomination), The H. Gene Murtha Memorial Senryu Contest 2023 (Honorable Mention), Golden Haiku Poetry Contest 2022 (Recognition), The Heron’s Nest Readers' Choice Awards 2022 (Special Mention), and The Mukai Haiku Festival Poetry Competition 2023 (Winner, Nature category).
My profile and selected haiku appear in The Living Haiku Anthology at https://livinghaikuanthology.com/index-of-poets/229-s-poets/504-sargent,-kelly.html
My Poet Profile at The Haiku Foundation appears at https://thehaikufoundation.org/poet-details/?IDclient=2848
Other cover art and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in more than eighty literary journals in the United States and abroad, most recently including Rattle, Chestnut Review, and Broad River Review. Honors include: The Ron Rash Award in Poetry 2023 (Finalist), Eric Hoffer Award 2022 (Nomination), and Best of the Net 2021 (Nomination).
I have written for SIGNews, a newspaper for the Deaf and hard of hearing community, and worked with deaf students in education. I also reviewed for a literary magazine whose mission is to make visible the artistic expression of sexual violence survivors. I currently serve as Creative Nonfiction Editor of The Bookends Review and on the Editorial Board of Beyond Words.
I am also the author of a children's storybook entitled Sundae Sundays, Winner of the 2023 Firebird Book Award (Children’s Inspirational).
Journal publications (current and forthcoming):
Akitsu Quarterly, Ancient Paths, Awakened Voices, Beyond Words, Bivouac Magazine, Book of Matches, Broad River Review, Cerasus Magazine, Chestnut Review, Chrysanthemum, Cold Moon Journal, Discretionary Love, Ephemeral Elegies, Eucalyptus & Rose, Eunoia Review, Failed Haiku-A Journal of English Senryu, First Frost, The Five-Two, Frogpond, Front Porch Review, Gyroscope Review, Haiku Commentary, haikuNetra Journal, Haikuniverse, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2022 and 2023, Halcyon Days, hedgerow, The Heron’s Nest, Kingfisher Journal, Kitchen Table Quarterly, The Lake, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Magnets and Ladders, Modern Haiku, Moss Piglet, Musing Publications, NeverEnding Story, Newfound, New Note Poetry, One Art: A Journal of Poetry, The Orchards Poetry Journal, The Pan Haiku Review, Poetic Sun, Poetry Life and Times, Poetry Pea Journal, Presence, Prolific Press, Prometheus Dreaming, Prospectus, Prune Juice, The Purpled Nail (Underwood Press), Rattle, redrosethorns magazine, Rue Scribe, Sheepshead Review, Silver Birch Press, Sparks of Calliope, Stardust Haiku, Stone Poetry Quarterly, tsuri-dōrō, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, Versification, Visual Verse, Vita Brevis Press, Wales Haiku Journal, Wingless Dreamer, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Your Daily Poem, and others.
Poetry in Motion
by Kelly Sargent
A poetry chapbook includes reflections on twinhood, deafness, and the mirrors through which we see, lose, and find ourselves again. (Kelsay Books, 2022)
“Kelly Sargent makes her story the heart of
Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion as she shares realms of experience many of us have never known. Born with a twin sister who is deaf—the poet says ‘her eyes were her ears’—they are adopted into a military family. Sargent, also having a significant hearing impairment, and her twin learn to communicate with ‘handheld voices.’ She writes with deep love as her poems record their bond… The stories are poignant, heartfelt, and richly poetic.”
-Tricia Knoll, author of Checkered Mates
“As I read the poems, I was struck by how rarely I see disabled experience centered in literature or art. These poems were a rare treat. Nevertheless, Sargent’s poems will become best known for their vivid imagery and for the emotion that they evoke… These poems question ableism, wow readers with stunning imagery, and place emotion at the center of personal experience.”
-Wordgathering Journal Review
Echoes in My Eyes
by Kelly Sargent
Release date: March 2024 (Kelsay Books)
“One of life’s most delightful occurrences is being introduced to a world you didn’t realize existed and certainly didn’t understand. Kelly Sargent pulls the curtain back on the struggles and giggles of twin sisters—one deaf, one partially deaf—and their innocent solutions to communication. Using sign language is not a new concept, but when you’re a child without access to a formal language, you do what is natural – you create your own. Each poem is a treasure of understanding, compassion, and persistence in overcoming the challenges of functioning in a world that can’t be heard. This book is a touching tribute to a young girl born with ‘limitations’ who outgrew them all, and a sister who loved her without limits.”
-j.lewis, Editor of Verse-Virtual and author of goodbye sounds like
“No eye will remain dry while reading Echoes in My Eyes, Kelly Sargent’s poetry collection that tells a story. It is a story where love and protection live side by side with stigma and stereotypes, white lies, misunderstanding, and separation. Written from the perspective of a loving sister, the reader gets a rare opportunity to learn about what it means to grow up as a deaf person in a hearing society and the crucial role that a significant relationship plays in the course of one journey. I believe this chapbook is a must on every shelf.”
-Gal Slonim, Founder, Beyond Words Publishing
“This perfectly balanced collection is full of love, humor, metaphor, resiliency, and narrative reflection.”
-Mary Ellen Talley, retired speech-language pathologist (SLP) and author of Taking Leave
by Kelly Sargent
(Red Moon Press, 2023)
“Discover the delicate beauty of life's moments with Bookmarks, a mesmerizing collection of haiku poetry by Kelly Sargent. From fleeting campfire sparks to the profound connections between strangers, each poem captures a precious snapshot of the human experience. With profound simplicity and evocative imagery, Sargent invites readers to reflect on love, loss, motherhood, and the intricate tapestry of emotions that define our lives.”
-Julie Schwerin, Associate Editor of The Heron’s Nest
“Kelly Sargent’s Bookmarks is an exciting debut collection of haiku and senryu. She masterfully weaves together life’s tragedies and triumphs to show us love holds everything in place. No matter where life takes us, or what hardship it throws our way, we can always find our way back to the source.”
-Tom Sacramona, former Editor of Frogpond
”After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
by Kelly Sargent
FIREBIRD BOOK AWARD
Every Sunday for twenty-three years, jolly “Sundae Man” with his crooked white mustache and bright blue flecks in his green eyes has been making ice cream sundaes for anxious families, though why he does so has remained a decades-old mystery. As a helpful distraction from her worry over her baby brother, a little girl becomes Sundae Man’s eager weekly assistant, jotting down ice cream requests and putting stemmed cherries atop towering sundaes. One afternoon, while helping him fill orders with hot fudge, butterscotch syrup, sprinkles and crushed cookies, the little girl solves the mystery to her great delight. This touching story illustrates the deep, lifelong bonds of family, and creatively offers connection and comfort concerning time spent away from loved ones.
“There is a surprise twist at the end which makes the story even sweeter… Sundae Sundays is a fantastic family read.”
-Danielle Watkins, The Book Smuggler’s Den
charcoal and pastels