Five Kingdoms: Poems
Anhinga Press 2010
Florida Book Award winner
[ Anhinga Press Site ]
"Kelle Groom's new book, Five Kingdoms, attempts to categorize the world, make sense of its violence, loss, and beauty. Groom makes the unbearable bearable through lists, ekphrasis, wild associations, and ritual. Her poetry cross-references politics, biology, history, domesticity, and war. Her work glows with her spirit and intellect, explodes with joy and grief. Five Kingdoms sings with what it is to be human."
— Denise Duhamel
"The Best New Poetry": "Groom likes to set vivid scenes - a fireman speeding to an emergency, a hitchhiker risking a dangerous ride - and then lift them into poetic bliss. She's also capable of flights of fancy that end up unexpectedly moving. Example: 'Oprah and the Underworld,' in which the poet describes an interview Winfrey conducted with Sharon Stone. The actress talks about a 'head injury,' and Groom is ultimately entranced by 'Sharon saying how near it all was/the nearness of death...Death, another guest.' "
— Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, April 16, 2010
"The poems in Kelle Groom's third collection, Five Kingdoms, weave gracefully between the personal and the political, wrestling larger cultural crises down to their human components."..."These poems urge us toward greater understanding, toward compassion, toward a greater sense of responsibility for our own and others' actions."..."This ultimately human need to connect, to comfort, even across millions of years, becomes the driving force of Five Kingdoms."..."It is rare to find such a range of emotion, intellect and humor housed in one poet-but here it is, and it is a gift. Groom's is a fiercely intelligent, defiant voice, singing with all her passion and formidable insight."
— Ilyse Kusnetz, The Florida Review, 2011
"Five Kingdoms by Kelle Groom, 'based on the five kingdoms of life which categorize every living thing' (105) is a stunning collection of poems."
— Poets' Quarterly, Winter 2011
"In Kelle Groom’s poem “In the City,” from her new book, Five Kingdoms (her third volume of poetry), a reader must explore loss so seldom discussed we might not otherwise think of it... Five Kingdoms uses such small intimacies to address isolation, mortality, and love. What moves this reader is Groom’s skill with our common language and her intuitive manner of taking a simple,unremarkable moment and embodying its revelations."
— Bloomsbury Review, Vol 31, Issue 2, 2011