When my grandmother fainted at the stove,
boiling carrots flew across the kitchen.
She wasn’t burned.
My grandfather’s overcoat still
had snow on it. They couldn’t stop
They lay there
on the kitchen floor
sobbing, holding each other. I
was in the highchair.
No one told me anything. Later that day
my heart would turn into an eye
and spend its life watching.
first full-length book of poetry, Dominant Hand, is available from Mayapple
Press, and she is co-author with artist Mary Hatch of
Art Speaks: Paintings
and Poetry (Kazoo Books, 2018). Other books by Kerlikowske include The Shape
of Dad (a memoir in prose poems), Last Hula (winner of the 2013 Standing
Rock Chapbook Competition), and Chain of Lakes.
She has been publishing her poetry and fiction for more than 20 years in such journals
and magazines as Encore, Cincinnati Review, Passager, and Poemeleon,
among others. Her work is also anthologized in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the
Flash Sequence (White Pine Press, 2016); The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly
Women (Shade Mountain Press, 2015); two of the annual KYSO Flash anthologies,
Accidents of Light (2018) and Earth Hymn (2019); and in the Michigan
writers anthology published by Western Michigan University (WMU).
Kerlikowske completed her doctorate in English at WMU in 2007. She also creates
visual art and has recently completed the Hester Prynne Chair, first of a
series of literary women chairs. Formerly an arts activist, she was president of the
Poetry Society of Michigan, and she served for 30 years as president of the Kalamazoo
Friends of Poetry. She’s retired from a teaching career at Kellogg Community
Into the Oak, prose poem by Kerlikowske in MacQ-9 (August 2021)
Featured Artists Mary Hatch and Elizabeth Kerlikowske in KYSO
Flash (Issue 9, Spring 2018); includes half a dozen of Kerlikowske’s
ekphrastic prose poems and micro-fictions inspired by Hatch’s paintings
Three in Prose by Kerlikowske in DIAGRAM (Issue 5.1):
“Forty Winks,” “The Girls’ Room,” and