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Kelly Sargent

Author & Artist


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Kelly Sargent

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.

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Bio

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:

https://kelsaybooks.com/products/seeing-voices-poetry-in-motion


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, was released by Kelsay Books in March 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 Award for Individual Poems 2022, 2023, and 2024 (Nominations), The H. Gene Murtha Memorial Senryu Contest 2023 (Honorable Mention), Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Competition 2023 (Honorable Mention), Golden Haiku Poetry Contest 2022 and 2024 (Recognition), The Heron’s Nest Readers' Choice Awards 2022 (Special Mention), The Mukai Haiku Festival Poetry Competition 2023 (Winner, Nature category), and The Haiku Calendar Competition 2024 (Runner-up).


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 ninety 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 and 2023 (Nominations).


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):

The Abstractaphy Initiative, Akitsu Quarterly, Ancient Paths, Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Awakened Voices, Beyond Words, Bivouac Magazine, Book of Matches, Broad River Review, Cattails, Cerasus Magazine, Chestnut Review, Chrysanthemum, Cold Moon Journal, Cool Beans Lit, Discretionary Love, Enchanted Garden Haiku Journal, Ephemeral Elegies, Eucalyptus & Rose, Eunoia Review, Failed Haiku-A Journal of English Senryu, FemkuMag, First Frost, The Five-Two, Frogpond, Front Porch Review, Gyroscope Review, The Haiku Calendar 2025 (Snapshot Press), Haiku Commentary, haikuNetra Journal, Haikuniverse, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2022 and 2023, Halcyon Days, hedgerow, The Heron’s Nest, horror senryū journal, Kingfisher Journal, Kitchen Table Quarterly, The Lake, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, MacQueen's Quinterly, Magnets and Ladders, Modern Haiku, Moss Piglet, Musing PublicationsNewfound, New Note Poetry, One Art: A Journal of Poetry, The Orchards Poetry Journal, The Pan Haiku Review, Password, Poem Alone, 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, Scarlet Dragonfly Journal, Shadow Pond Journal, Sheepshead Review, Silver Birch Press, Sparks of Calliope, Stardust Haiku, Stone Circle Review, 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.

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Seeing Voices:

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.” 

-Kate Champlin, Wordgathering Journal Review

Home: Poetry Chapbook
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Echoes in My Eyes

by Kelly Sargent

(Kelsay Books, March 2024)


“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 and author of Taking Leave


“In Echoes in My Eyes, Kelly Sargent artfully chronicles her lifelong journey of learning while teaching, and teaching while learning. Her verses are filled with light and love. This collection is a tribute to sisters, giggling side-by-side, one deaf, one partially deaf. In ‘Fruits of Labor’ Sargent gives sound and meaning to unheard vibrations and nuances. Echoes in My Eyes invites us to hear sisterly love in any way we can.”
~Roberta Beach Jacobson, author of Demitasse Fiction: One-Minute Reads for Busy People

Home: Memoir in Verse
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by Kelly Sargent

Bookmarks

(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

“Welcome to an elegant new voice in haiku poetry. Kelly Sargent’s collection of carefully crafted short-form haiku and senryu shines with keen observations of both human experience and the natural world, embedded in the fresh images that are her strength. Readers of poetry and her haiku peers alike will surely appreciate – as I do – her ability to convey insight and emotion with remarkable subtlety. I anticipate that there will be much more to come from the poet’s natural gifts for language and its quiet power.”

-Barrie Levine, author of Cotton Moon haiku and senryu


“Kelly Sargent's Bookmarks is like a cup of tea - warm, occasionally bitter, and a warm companion for rumination… A deeply felt collection.”  -Pippa Phillips, Frogpond (Winter 2024)

“While we have seen some of these poems before, learning about severe hearing impairment and the private language she and her sister communicated in gives some a deeper meaning. For example, it is hard not to find that relationship and its tactile language in a poem like: fingers / lacing ... / waxing moon. Other poems share moments of marriage, motherhood, and loss. A strong debut. hospice book cart / bookmarks / between the pages.”
-Modern Haiku (Winter 2024)

Home: Haiku Collection
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haiku

Frogpond (2021)

campfire sparks

teenagers

slip away


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”After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Phillip Pullman

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Sundae Sundays 

by Kelly Sargent

*2023 WINNER

FIREBIRD BOOK AWARD

(Children’s Inspirational)


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


Home: Children’s Book
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 Selected works

Artwork


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Hope

Awakened Voices

charcoal and pastels

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