Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kathleen Flenniken's PLUME - Sneak Preview

I am thrilled that Kathleen Flenniken's second book, PLUME, will be out from the University of Washington Press in Spring 2012 --- only a few short months away. PLUME is a book of "innocence and experience" at the Hanford Nuclear Plant. It is also one of the best books of poetry I have read in that the line of the personal and political blur to unite as one. The book begins with an epilogue by President Obama on the 2008 campaign trail admitting that he had no idea what Hanford was but he assured the person who asked the question that he'd be up to speed on the issue before his plane took off.  This is followed by the opening poem in which President Kennedy visits Hanford in the early 1960's.
Yet at the heart of this book is a young woman trying to make sense out of her own personal history and the death of her best friend's father. All this makes PLUME sound weighed down in narrative; it is not.

Listen to this short video (made on an Iphone and then edited later) and enjoy one of my favorite poems in the collection, "Cayote." OK. I have many favorites. Look for Plume this spring in a bookstore near you.


  1. Absolutely stunning -- I can't wait to read this book. Thanks, Susan, for the sneak preview!

  2. How wonderful for Kathleen. I'd read about her manuscript in progress sometime back and am happy to learn U. of Washington Press will be publishing it. Kathleen and I are press mates for our first collections, but we've never met in person, so I appreciate being able to see and hear her read here. Her forthcoming collection couldn't be more timely. Thanks, Susan.

  3. Hi Mari,
    I forgot you were both out of Nebraska before. I love Kathleen's new book --- It should be out in March! All best and thanks for letting me know!

  4. Seeing the video prompted me to contact Kathleen; it had been a while and it was good to reconnect and catch up. I will look for her book. Thanks again!