Female Faith Poet-Laurie Klein

Laurie Klein and I first met online after I’d been following her work in print for a number of years. We share a common decade and a love of poetry and song. I then discovered she was blogging and we’ve been corresponding ever since.

Laurie is the author of the prize-winning chapbook ‘Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh’ and the classic praise chorus ”I Love You, Lord.” Her poems and prose have appeared in many publications, including Ascent, The Southern Review, Atlanta Review, Terrain, and the Holman Personal Worship Bible. She is a recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred. Her most recent release in the Poemia Poetry Series from Cascade Books is  “Where the Sky Opens.”
I reached out to Laurie for an online Interview and she graciously agreed. Below is our conversation. (For more poet interviews & book reviews here on the blog, click HERE.)
1) Tell me about your writing path–how did it lead you to where you are today?
Twenty years ago, sadness launched my writing path; death and depression arrived, pushing me on my journey.  Losing my dad in 1996 propelled me into journaling, then poetry. There was lots of baggage to sort through. Literally everyone in my family died, except for my sister, who beat breast cancer, twice.
But here’s the godsend: Two friends with MFAs mentored me, in poetry and prose during that time. Eventually, we co-founded a print litmag called Rock & Sling: A Journal of Literature, Art and Faith and ran it against all odds for five years.
2) Have you had any other ‘careers’ other than writer? or perhaps some that dovetailed with that vocation?
I feel outrageously lucky in the work opportunities I’ve enjoyed. Former jobs fed my word banks, my ‘image archives.’
Teacher: I taught in preschools, then as a Theatre Arts adjunct at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, never suspecting commonalities between these age groups.
Freelance Professional Storyteller: I performed in schools, churches, community centers, writer’s conferences, and retreats, in the States as well as Thailand, England, and Germany.
Program Director at Calvary Chapel: Remember Deborah of old, who had “a heart for the willing volunteers”? I loved directing and wrote drama sketches our creative team synced with thematic music and stage sets. Several full-length musicals followed.
Audiobook Narrator: I’ve narrated fifty or so books. When I undertook Theatre Arts study, I wanted the skills to play 100 characters. I never meant all at one time! Some novels call for that many voices. (TIP: novelists, reign in your cast if you want publication in this arena.)

Singer/songwriter and itinerant Worship Leader: My husband, Bill, and I shared this work for three decades. Four recording projects emerged from that wonderful season of life.

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Kindergarten, January

I never dreamed one day I’d be parsing a picture book explaining to five year olds that yes, a black man was shot by someone who hated him because of the color of his skin, and before he died he had a Dream for children just like them. After the story (required), they—with their earnest, “Was he real, teacher?” “Yes, he was,” and  me with my … Continue reading Kindergarten, January

Writing Exercise {a #Poem}

“Stretch” must be a biblical word, regardless of one’s age (an extension, a straining) like a two-year-old reaching on tiptoes towards her Father, not unlike the discomfort of unfolding old bones and well-used knees, joints so stiff they’ve forgotten how to bend. I want to stress and press past the comfortable, groan with the growing, the knowing that daily I must reach, pushing back against all that stagnates and stifles … Continue reading Writing Exercise {a #Poem}

Thoughts on an Amaryllis

Dry, peeling globe, whiskered, spidery tendrils bottomside. Topside, a thumbnail pokes through plays at growing green threatening strong stalks towards the sky. Blooms are said to hide within– secrets in scarlet, crimson, peach pearly white, the palest pink– a plantiferous palette of possibilities. But I do not see their beauty now Cannot feel any joy at what is there unseen. I’m feeling bulb-like these days, … Continue reading Thoughts on an Amaryllis

Writing Down the Bones {a #poem}

Something has been said about “writing down the bones” which sounds like a good practice if you’re learning anatomy. But the first time I heard the phrase, I thought it was “writing down the poems,” So I am. Writing down the poems moving my bones, the ligaments lightly holding the pen– black on paper, blue, too, re-living the washing of water by their words, like … Continue reading Writing Down the Bones {a #poem}

I Meant to Thank You**

I thought I had tomorrow-more than one, like petalsfrom an infinite flowerheld in my hand.I thought I had tomorrowfoolishly thinking the chanceswould arise in infinite numberrolling in like wavesagain and again on the shore.But the words-writ at my feet,stayed there, washing awaylike silken sand,crumbling in liquid lines–the words I never said.I meant to say “Thank you.” ** This poem is from a line prompt in … Continue reading I Meant to Thank You**