Thursday, September 13, 2007


The Kimnama - The Kim Roberts Story

In April Sunday Kind of Love featured the launch of Vrzhu Press, DC's latest poetry press. One of their first titles is The Kimnama by local literary light Kim Roberts.

Kathi Wolfe has published a wonderful interview with Roberts on Scene4, here:, prompting me to take out the book and reread portions, with great pleasure. The language is simple and lovely. The book is a long poem based on the journal Kim kept during a sojourn in New Dehli; while there's no attempt to be comprehensive (indeed, how would that be possible?), the accummulation of observation and detail paints a gorgeous picture. Roberts always employs a light touch:

At Birla House, the Gandhi
Memorial Museum
you can see the great man's bedroll,

his glasses, his cane, watch
books and shoes.
You can follow his footsteps

to the backyard shrine
to the place he was shot
and see the stone monument

and the mural. Inside, dioramas
tell the story of his life
in crude miniature.

(With apologies to the poet - the lines are not left-justified, as here. In each stanza, the second line is indented quite far under the first and the third is indented, though less far. This gives the piece a swinging movement that's sustained throughout the 40 pages.)

Emotional issues live at the heart of the work -- faith, compassion, our human differences and similarities -- always treated with nuance and understatement. And yet the poet is unafraid to let love stand as the final and central touchstone: "You can love many things," says Vipul, one of the poet's interlocutors in the piece, "one love/does not erase another."

Roberts is giving a number of readings from The Kimnama in the coming months. Here are the ones for September:

Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 pm
With Ellen Cole
Poesis Reading Series, Pentagon City Borders Books, 1201 S. Hayes St, Arlington, VA, (703) 418-0166
Hosted by Cliff Bernier - Free Admission

Friday, September 28 at 6:30 pm
With Hiram Larew
Zu Coffee, 923 Bay Ridge Avenue, Giant Shopping Center, Annapolis, MD, (410) 990-0731
Hosted by Rocky Jones - Free Admission

Saturday September 29 at 3:00 pm
Attic: Maryland State Poetry and Literary Society publication reading, dedicated to the memory of Barbara M. Simon.
Other readers: Charles Rammelkamp, Forestine Bynum, Michael Fallon, Alan Barysh, Alan Reese, Karla Mancero, and Yvette Neisser Moreno.
Baltimore Book Festival, Outdoors around Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, (410) 752-8632
Free Admission

Sunday, September 30 at 1:30 pm With Hiram Larew
Vrzhu Press reading
Baltimore Book Festival, Outdoors around Mount Vernon Place, 600 block of N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, (410) 752-8632
Free Admission

For information on other readings, check out Kim Roberts' fabulous new website at:

Very nice! I just had the pleasure of reading Kim's lovely, subtle book, and I'm glad to see it featured here.
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