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 also authored a forthcoming collection of modern haiku and senryu poems entitled Bookmarks (Red Moon Press). A haiku recognized in the international Golden Haiku 2022 poetry contest received a placard in Washington, D.C. Another haiku in 2022 received a nomination for The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Award for Individual Poems. In the Mukai Haiku Festival 2023 poetry competition, a haiku was awarded First Place in the Nature category.
Other cover art and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in more than seventy literary publications in the United States and abroad, most recently including Rattle, Chestnut Review, and Broad River Review. My works have received nominations for 2021 Best of the Net and a 2022 Eric Hoffer Award. Another poem was recognized as finalist for the 2023 Ron Rash Award in Poetry.
I have written for SIGNews, a newspaper for the Deaf and HOH 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.
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, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2022 and 2023, Haikuniverse, Halcyon Days, hedgerow, The Heron’s Nest, Kingfisher Journal, Kitchen Table Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Magnets and Ladders, Modern Haiku, Moss Piglet, Musing Publications, 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, Sparks of Calliope, Stardust Haiku, Stone Poetry Quarterly, tsuri-dōrō, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, 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: January 2024 (Kelsay Books)
“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
“No eye will remain dry while reading Sargent’s powerful poetry collection in which love and protection live side by side with stigma and stereotypes; misunderstanding and white lies; and eventual separation and loss... Written from the perspective of a hearing impaired twin sister, the reader gets a rare opportunity to learn about what it means to grow up as a deaf child in a hearing society and the crucial role that a significant relationship plays in the course of one journey. I believe that 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 Post Cards from the Lilac City
by Kelly Sargent
Release date: TBA (Red Moon Press)
“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
”After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
by Kelly Sargent
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, comfort, and reassurance concerning time spent away from loved ones.
Available at Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, and Amazon
charcoal and pastels