Poet Chelsea Woodard, with "Solitary Bee"

Friday, October 7th, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

Chelsea Woodard is the author of the collections Solitary Bee (forthcoming from Measure Press, 2016), and Vellum (Able Muse Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Southwest Review, Poetry Northwest, American Life in Poetry, and elsewhere. She received an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. She lives and teaches in New Hampshire.

In Solitary Bee, poet Chelsea Woodard uses deft language and imagery to create vivid moments. Though many of the poems are reflective and play on past incidents in her life, the writing is clear: this is not sepia-toned nostalgia. Poems like “Things We Inherit” rest on tension in wordplay — in the second line, Woodard plants a gun, and the reader spends the next several lines jumping every time she says “shot” (which refers to liquor, a rubber band, and a photograph, but is laced with double entendre).
The collection understands things in three ways: First, as a child does, second, as an adult, and third, as someone trying to marry the two experiences and find the truth between them. Solitary Bee thrums with the knowledge that so many of these moments are peaceful, but there is a stinger not far below the surface.

poet Chelsea Woodward"Chelsea Woodard has written a grown woman's book of poems-- meaning a chronicle of how the world looks and feels from the perspectives of felt truth and family history. Miss Woodard's view is rural, New England-ish, possessed of Dickinson's intensity in nature's fact and Emerson's loving faith in good turns of heart and song. She writes an elegant sentence, has a painterly eye, commands narrative as she might have once steered horse-and- plow, and is as soaked in her place as was Mr. Frost. What more could any reader want than the memorable poems found in Solitary Bee? One feels her confident voice, her touch-- and thinks this, too, is my life." ~Dave Smith

"Like Robert Frost, Chelsea Woodard is "versed in country things" and Solitary Bee evokes the natural world—especially the flora, fauna, and weather of her native New England—in magnificent detail. But her landscapes are peopled too, and she examines the shifting tenors of human relationships with the same generous attention, the same appreciation for the slow work of understanding. The artistry of these poems is striking, exceeded only by their mighty compassion. What a beautiful book!" ~Caki Wilkinson

Event date: 
Friday, October 7, 2016 - 5:30pm
Event address: 
45 South Main St
Concord, NH 03301
Vellum Cover Image
ISBN: 9781927409350
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Able Muse Press - November 17th, 2014

Poetry. Chelsea Woodard's VELLUM, a finalist for the 2013 Able Muse Book Award, propels the reader along new paths of discovery in the quotidian as in the mythical.