OPP #4: Kristin LaTour

Poetry nepotism alert! Once a month here in my OPP posts, I will choose a poet with whom I am personally acquainted whose work I hope will find a larger audience. First up is someone who is not just my acquaintance, but my good friend and frequent-poetry-readings-and-conference-travel-partner-in-crime Kristin LaTour.

Reading Kristin’s poems always leaves me with the sense that I have stepped over a magical threshold and deeply into the middle of a scene, sometimes from the past, sometimes fanciful, but always rich in detail. I often wish that I could draw or paint – Kristin’s poems would make a fabulous set of paintings. (Any artists out there? Contact her….) And hidden in these vivid scenes are often glimpses of something dark amid the beauty. One of her newer publications online is the poem “Little Witch”, featured in the latest issue of Stirring.


She can control the wind if she stands on the porch
Or cement steps leading to a house’s back door,
Holding her arms aloft and squinting her eyes.
Mostly she likes the air to be still, barely rustling.
Empty notebooks have demons, so she chooses
Spiral bound with a blue cover, several pages filled
With scribbles in red crayon and the hard-pressed
handwriting of small girls learning penmanship.
These are the spells that send small poltergeists
Scrambling. She curses her siblings with their dirt
Filled ears and crusted mouths. She blesses her father
Who leaves more often than he returns and scolds
Her mother when her belly swells again. She can see
Her future, her hair turning to Twizzlers everyone will want
To pull from her head and her words precious as a trinket box
Hidden under a bed full of broken bits of jewelry and one tiny
Barbie shoe, a blue marble. People will want to look
Into her mouth. She already plans to hide in a corn crib
And live like a cat. Listen. She’s practicing her purr.


If you want to write:

One of my favorite ways to look at line breaks is to read the end words of a poem as their own little story and use them as a prompt. Kristin’s poem is perfect for this. Use the end word pairs as a way in to your own new piece.

porch/door         eyes/rustling     chooses/filled     hard-pressed/penmanship

poltergeists/dirt     father/scolds     see/want     box/tiny     look/crib/purr

For more on Kristin:

Her website: http://www.kristinlatour.com

Audio: Poetry and Hoarding

Her latest chapbook Agoraphobia from dancing girl press

4 thoughts on “OPP #4: Kristin LaTour

  1. Pingback: Poetry Prompts Freeforall: They Followed Me Home, Ma | Margo Roby: Wordgathering

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