Karla Anne Kelsey, Ph.D.

Department: English & Creative Writing

Professor of English & Creative Writing

  • Education
  • MFA, Univ of Iowa
  • BA, Univ of California Los Angeles
  • PHD, Univ of Denver

Honored by awards from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Poetry Society of America and the Beinecke Library of Special Collections at Yale University, Karla Kelsey is a poet, essayist and editor whose work weaves together the lyric with philosophy and history. She has published three books of poetry: A Conjoined Book (Omnidawn, 2014); Iteration Nets (Ahsahta, 2010); and Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary (Ahsahta, 2006) selected by Carolyn Forché for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize. Blood Feather, her fourth book of poetry is forthcoming from Tupelo Press and in 2020 Ahsahta Press will publish On Certainty.

Her book of experimental essays, Of Sphere, was selected by Carla Harryman for the 2016 Essay Press Prize and was published in 2017. Poems and creative prose have been published by such journals as Bomb, Fence, Conjunctions, New American Writing, The Boston Review, Verse, and Tupelo Quarterly. Her critical essays on poetry, poetics, and pedagogy have appeared in anthologies and literary journals.

From 2010-2017 she edited The Constant Critic, Fence Books' online journal of poetry reviews. She currently co-publishes with Aaron McCollough SplitLevel Texts, a press specializing in hybrid genre projects and with Poupeh Missaghi she co-edits Matters of Feminist Practice, a new journal of feminist criticism housed with Belladonna* Collaborative. More information about her work can be found on her website.

Honored by awards from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Poetry Society of America and Boise State's Ahsahta Press, Karla Kelsey is the author of three full-length books of poetry: Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary; Iteration Nets; and A Conjoined Book. Her fourth book of poetry will be published in the fall of 2017. Her chapbooks are Little Dividing Doors in the Mind, Into the Eyes of Lost Storms and 3 Movements. Recent work has appeared in journals such as Boston Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Chicago Review, The Colorado Review, Conjunctions; New American Writing; and Verse. She edits and contributes to The Constant Critic, Fence Books' online journal of poetry reviews and is co-publisher of SplitLevel Texts.

Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary


Ph.D.  Literature and Creative Writing. University of Denver. Denver, CO. May 2005.

M.F.A.  Poetry. Iowa Writers Workshop. Iowa City, IA. May 2001.

B.A.  Literature and Philosophy. UCLA. Los Angeles, CA. December 1999.    


Full-Time Positions

2011 to Present  Associate Professor  Susquehanna University Department of English and Creative Writing

2006 to 2011  Assistant Professor

2005-2006  Visiting Assistant Professor


Fall 2012  Visiting Assistant Professor  Eötvös Collegium, Budapest  Department of American Studies (Sabbatical Leave)

Spring 2011  Fulbright Visiting Assistant  Eötvös Loránd University, Professor  Budapest Department of American Studies    


Kelsey, Karla. A Conjoined Book. Richmond, CA: Omnidawn Press, 2014.

Kelsey, Karla. Iteration Nets. Boise, ID: Ahsahta Press, 2011.

Kelsey, Karla. Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary. Boise, ID: Ahsahta Press, 2006.  


Kelsey, Karla. Into the Eyes of Lost Storms. Fayetteville, AR: Narwhal Press, 2009.

Kelsey, Karla.  Three Movements. Northampton, MA: Pilot Press, 2009.

Kelsey, Karla.  Little Dividing Doors in the Mind. Santa Fe, NM: Noemi Press, 2005.

Poetry in Journals

Fall 2011-Present

Kelsey, Karla. "from Blood Feather." The Colorado Review. Fall 2015: 129-132.

Kelsey, Karla. "Vantage & Graft: Juniper Tree (On the wall)." The Chicago Review.58:2. Winter, 2014: 5-6.

Kelsey, Karla. "Vantage & Graft: Juniper Tree (Bluing through)." The Chicago Review. 58:2. Winter, 2014: 7-8.

Kelsey, Karla. "Vantage & Graft: Juniper Tree (She threw)." The Chicago Review. 58:2. Winter, 2014: 9-10.

Kelsey, Karla. "Vantage & Graft: Juniper Tree (We come here)." The Chicago Review. 58:2. Winter, 2014: 11-12.

Kelsey, Karla. "Vantage & Graft: Juniper Tree (Then the mother)." The Chicago Review. 58:2. Winter, 2014: 13-14.

Kelsey, Karla. "-echoache." Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics. Issue 47. November, 2014: http://www.thevolta.org/ewc47-kkelsey-p1.html.

Kelsey, Karla. "Shadow: Waking," New American Writing. 32, 2014: 52.

Kelsey, Karla. "Shadow: Your hair." New American Writing. 32, 2014: 53.

Kelsey, Karla. "Shadow: To consider." New American Writing. 32, 2014: 54.

Kelsey, Karla. "Interval." Web Conjunctions. 09.03.2013, 2013: http://conjunctions.com/ webcon/kelsey13.htm

Kelsey, Karla. "Accordance II." The Will Sew The Blue Sail. Issue # 4. April, 2012: http://www.thevolta.org/twstbs-issue4-mainpage.html

Kelsey, Karla. "Accordance I." Lana Turner. no. 4, 2012: 184-185.

Kelsey, Karla. "Aftermath: She has not gotten" Conjunctions. Issue 56, 2011: 322.

Kelsey, Karla. "Aftermath: Meandered to repair" Conjunctions. Issue 56, 2011: 323.

Kelsey, Karla. "Aftermath: Dust man" Conjunctions. Issue 56, 2011: 324.

Kelsey, Karla. "Aftermath: Against the valley" Conjunctions. Issue 56, 2011: 325.

Kelsey, Karla. "Aftermath: For all along the sun" Conjunctions. Issue 56, 2011: 326.

Kelsey, Karla. "Aftermath: (The wintered" Conjunctions. Issue 56, 2011: 327.

Kelsey, Karla. "from Aftermath." New American Writing. 29, 2011: 113-114.

Kelsey, Karla. "Of Architecture." Sidebrow. Project City Issue, 2011: http://www.sidebrow.net/posts/193-karla-kelsey-5515    

Poetry Accepted for Publication in Journals (forthcoming publications)

Kelsey, Karla. Of Sphere. Verse Magazine, forthcoming.

Kelsey, Karla. "Cosmogony 1-3" Free Verse. forthcoming.

Kelsey, Karla. "untitled." Jerkpoet. forthcoming.    

Poetry in Anthologies

Kelsey, Karla. "from winter dark with shades of blue." February: an anthology. Ed. Paul Legault. St. Louis, MO: Washington University Department of Creative Writing, 2015: 6 pages.

Kelsey, Karla.  "from A Conjoined Book." The Arcadia Project. Ed. Joshua Corey and G.C. Waldrep. Boise ID: Boise State University Ahsahta Press, 2012: 114-120.  

Kelsey, Karla.  "Sonnet 114" The Sonnets: Rewriting Shakespeare. Ed. Paul Legault and Sharmila Cohen, Callicoon NY: Nightboat Books, 2012: 45.      


Fall 2011-Present

Chapters in Books

Kelsey, Karla.  "To Gesture at Absence: A Reading-With." Anne Carson: Ecstatic Lyre. Ed. Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2015: 88- 93.  

Kelsey, Karla.  "Articulations of Artifice in the Work of Mary Jo Bang." Eleven More American Woman Poets in the 21st Century. Ed. Claudia Rankine and Lisa Sewell, Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2012: 34-56.  

Standing Engagement

Current            Since December 2009 regular reviews for the online journal of poetry criticism, The Constant Critic, published by Fence Books. Nine reviews published since fall of 2011. (1500 + words each)    

Criticism, Essays, and Reviews Published in Journals (not part of the Constant Critic project)

Kelsey, Karla. "On Reviewing." Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics. Issue 35. November, 2013: http://www.thevolta.org/ewc35-kkelsey-p1.html  

Kelsey, Karla. "Karla Kelsey on Barbara Guest." Short Takes on Long Poems. Vol. 4, 2012: http://atlengthmag.com/poetry/short-takes-on-long-poems-volume-4/#kelsey  

Kelsey, Karla.    "A Practice in Beveled Light." English Language Notes. Department of English, University of Colorado at Boulder. 50.01 Spring/Summer, 2012: 29-32.  

Kelsey, Karla. "Ales Steger, The Book of Things." Literatura. Trans. into Slovenian by Andrej Hocevar. 251-252, May-June, 2012: 255-260.  

Kelsey, Karla.  "Sestina." Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics. Issue 18. June, 2012: http://www.thevolta.org/ewc18-kkelsey-p1.html  

Kelsey, Karla.  "On Alpha Donut: The Complete Shorter Works of Matvei Yankelevich." Poetry Project Newsletter. Issue 230: February-March, 2012: 22.  

Book Chapter Under Review

Kelsey, Karla. "Barbara Guest's Seeking Air." The Poet's Novel. Ed. Laynie Browne. (Chapter accepted by the editor, book under review).    


Faculty Research Grant, Susquehanna University, 2011, 2012, 2015.  

Fulbright Lectureship, ELTE University. Budapest, Hungary Spring 2011.  

Cecil Hemley Award, Poetry Society of America, 2010.  

The Winifred and Gustave Weber Professorship in the Humanities, SusquehannaUniversity, 2006-2008.  

Sawtooth Poetry Prize, Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary, Ahsahta Press, 2005.  

Teaching-Writing Fellowship, Iowa Writer's Workshop, 2000-2001.       


Fall 2011-Present  


Shaw, Kent. "A Conjoined Book by Karla Kelsey." The Rumpus. April 9, 2014. http://therumpus.net/2014/04/a-conjoined-book-by-karla-kelsey/

Landray, Benjamin. "A Conjoined Book." The Colorado Review. May 14, 2014. http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/reviews/a-conjoined-book/

Savich, Zach. "A Conjoined Book." Black Ocean Micro Review Monday. August 4, 2014. http://www.blackocean.org/blog/2014/8/4/micro-review-monday-karla-kelsey-by-zach-savich

"A Conjoined Book: Aftermath//Become Tree, Become Bird." Publisher's Weekly. April 2014. http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-890650-94-0

Kyle, Catherine. "A Conjoined Book." Verse Magazine. Monday September 22, 2014. http://versemag.blogspot.com/2014/09/new-review-of-karla-kelsey.html


Interview with G.C. Waldrep about A Conjoined Book. The Arcadia Project Website. April 2, 2014. http://arcadiaproject.net/a-nagging-complexity-to-keep-us-seeking-and-awake-interview-with-karla-kelsey/

Interview with Rusty Morrison about A Conjoined Book. The Conversant. December 28, 2013. http://theconversant.org/?p=5868    


Fall 2011-Present  

Poetry Readings

"Poetry Reading." Unnameable Books. Brooklyn, NY, July 2015.

"Poetry Reading." Iowa Writers Workshop. Iowa City, IA, February 2015.

"Poetry Reading." Fort Gondo Arts Collective. St Louis, MO, November 2014.

"Visiting Writer Poetry Reading." Shippensburg University. Shippensburg, PA, November, 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Poet's House. New York, NY, October 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Belladonna Collective. Brooklyn, NY, October 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Fall for the Book Festival. George Mason University, Fairfax VA, September 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Casa Solana Reading Series. Tucson, AZ, May 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Matthew Cooperman and Aby Kaupig Series. Fort Collins, CO, May 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Counterpath Arts Events. Denver, CO, May 2014.

"Susquehanna Faculty Reading." Susquehanna University. Selinsgrove, PA, April 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Omnidawn Press Book Launch. Moe's Bookstore. Berkeley, CA, April 2014.

"Visiting Writer Poetry Reading." Lewis and Clark College. Portland, OR, April 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Daedelus Books. Portland, OR, April 2014.

"Visiting Writer Poetry Reading." Carthage College. Kenosha, WI, April, 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Danny's Reading Series. Chicago, IL, April 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Iowa Writer's Workshop Series at Prairie Lights, April 2014.

"Poetry Reading." Associated Writing Programs Conference. Seattle, WA, March 2014.    

Scholarly Conference Presentations (Poetics/Criticism)

"On Editing Denver Quarterly." Associated Writing Programs Conference. St Paul, Minneapolis, April 2015.  

"Ethics and Poetics: an Ecological Mode." Associated Writing Programs Conference. Seattle, WA, March 2014.

"Poetry as sound's potential." Associated Writing Programs Conference. Seattle, WA, March 2014.

"Anne Carson as Philosopher." Poetry vs. Philosophy Conference. Texas A & M. College Station, TX, April 2013.

"Practice in Beveled Light." The Shape of the I Conference. CU Boulder. Boulder, CO, March, 2012.

"Constant Critic 10th Anniversary." Associated Writing Programs Conference. Chicago, CO, March 2012.

"Susan Howe: Poetics of History." Midwest MLA. St Louis, MO, October, 2011.


Fall 2011-Present      

Winter 2010-Present  Editor-The Constant Critic  


As editor of The Constant Critic I work with a stable of five writers who develop reviews of between 1,200-1,800 words of recently-released books of contemporary poetry. Since spring of 2011 I have brought on board two new reviewers. My editing work entails book selection, content development, proofing, and formatting for on-line viewing.    

Spring 2012-Present  Editor/Publisher/Founder Split Level Texts                        


I co-founded SplitLevel Texts in 2011 with Aaron McCollough. We publish two full-length books each year in print editions. The books are experimental hybrid genre works that interrogate the aesthetic and ethical norms of American culture. Our list includes prestigious internationally renowned writers as well as mid-career writers. As editor and publisher I acquire manuscripts, work with authors on content editing and proofing. I also typeset all of the manuscripts and work to market and distribute the books via SPD (Small Press Distribution) and via independent bookstores. Books Published 2015: Martin Corless-Smith this fatal looking glass; Laynie Browne PRACTICE. Books Published 2014: Lucy Ives The Worldkillers;  Maged Zahir If reality doesn't work out. Books Published: 2013: Carla Harryman: W-/M-; Catherine Meng: The Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the Century. Books Published: 2012: Jerome Rothenberg: A Cruel Nirvana, Alan Gilbert: A Treatment of Monuments.


Fall 2011-Present   

Introduction to Poetry

Intermediate Poetry

Advanced Poetry

Forms of Writing

Experimental Writing

Aesthetics and Interpretation

Small Press Editing and Publishing


Independent Writing Project

Honors Project


Courses taught:

  • ENGL-265 Forms of Writing: Poetry
  • ENGL-290 Aesthetics and Interpretation
  • OFFP-SAFRICA Travel Writing in South Africa
  • OFFS-SAFRICA Travel Writing in South Africa
  • WRIT-252 Introduction to Poetry
  • WRIT-352 Intermediate Narrative Poetry
  • WRIT-352 Intermediate Poetry
  • WRIT-352 Intermediate Poetry Prose Poem
  • WRIT-452 Advanced Poetry
  • WRIT-500 Independent Study
  • WRIT-520 Practicum
  • WRIT-540 Internship