Bio: Grant Kittrell, writer and illustrator, serves as the Director of the Academic Services Center and Writing Program at Randolph College, and is the college’s Fall 2018 Writer-in-Residence. He is the Poetry Editor of Flock Literary Journal, which recently received CLMP’s Firecracker Award for Best Debut Magazine. Winner of the 2018 Philip Booth Poetry Prize, Kittrell’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Common, Salt Hill, The Carolina Quarterly, The Normal School, Gigantic Sequins, Construction and Magma Poetry, among others. His collection of prose poems, Let’s Sit Down, Figure This Out, is out now from Groundhog Poetry Press (2017). Originally from Northeast Florida, he has most recently lived and worked in Roanoke, VA, where he received his MFA from Hollins University in 2014.
Steeped in images from the known world in a series of topographical maps of the subconscious, populated by domestic tableaus in the tradition of Russell Edson and James Tate, and infused with a hint of Southern Gothic, Grant Kittrell’s Let’s Sit Down, Figure This Out contains prose poems that manifest the ill-logic of our dreams: imaginative word-scapes that render the real world, transmuted by the twin-engines of humor and sadness.
–Christopher Kennedy, author of Ennui Prophet
The lucid cautionary tales in Grant Kittrell’s Let’s Sit Down, Figure This Out, riff on prose, but the music in these poems is lithely juke-joint and rife with wisdoms that expose the dark underbelly of life—Also, the dualities. With every beautiful and parallel muscle of the senses, Kittrell’s trajectory works a magic of pathos and ethos, “I got a buttercup in the back seat that needs your nose to see itself.” These tenderly whimsical and sad poems sometimes speak to us through squirrels and trees, “marvel at the transactions of two such different spirits” working as vessels to transcend for us the distances between the physical and spiritual realms, the pitfalls and icebergs of our relationships—A poet’s language that so soulfully speaks to matters of the human heart—-“with eyes shaped like our next grief.” Kittrell’s lush and keen-eyed collection celebrates the peculiar and extraordinary ways we exist and offers, by turns, an eclectic blueprint to steer us into deeper waters, connecting us to the sobering homelands of the body, heart and soul.
—Cynthia Atkins, author of In The Event of Full Disclosure