& PAGE POET
SPEAKER & MOTIVATOR
EDUCATOR & STUDENT
KELSEY'S MISSION & VISION
TO BE THE MOTIVATOR AND MENTOR THAT
PEOPLE DON'T ALWAYS GET IN LIFE.
MOLDING INCREDIBLY SPECIFIC EMOTIONS INTO SOMETHING HUMAN, DIGESTIBLE, AND CATHARTIC.
GET TO KNOW KELSEY
I believe we grow in empathy by talking about shared experiences, no matter how difficult. My work discusses mental health and using poetry as a coping tool. I went through a lot of hard stuff growing up, and poetry is my way of processing it all.
I share my story through poetry in a way that's like having a conversation with a friend to help others feel less alone in their own stories. Recently, I've also been able to use poetry as a way to understand how I got myself to a safer, healthier place in life, which means I've gotten to bring that into the conversation with audiences as well.
It's a beautiful field of work I get to be in, and I'm grateful to continue those conversations.
My goal is to show others two things: 1. It does get better, and 2. You can live the life you dream.
What makes me qualified to do what I do?
Educationally, I have a B.A. in professional and creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and my M.A. in strategic communications from the University of Iowa. Plus, I'm a lifelong learner taking many poetry master classes and workshops each year.
Professionally, I am a board member and chair for the Iowa Poetry Association, a member of Poetry&, a co-director for the BlackBerry Peach National Poetry Slam, and a member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. I have participated on many panels, judged contests and slams, and have performed at my fair share of events. I have led the Des Moines Poetry Workshop since February 2018 and host multiple workshops in person and virtually.
Poetically, I released my debut chapbook, "Sprig of Lilac," in November 2018 and my debut spoken word album, "Depression Holders and Secret Keepers," in September 2021. I've also been published in Central Avenue Publishing, Pile Press, Backchannels Journal, Lyrical Iowa, Spirit Lake Review, and more. Plus, I am a 2024 Pushcart Prize nominee, a finalist for the 2023 Button Poetry Video Contest, and a short-list finalist for the 2023 Central Avenue Poetry Prize.
Every day, I'm living the life my younger self never thought I'd be able to create.
What more could I ask for?