Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kathleen Kirk  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult;


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Illinois Connection

Kirk was raised near Hudson, Illinois, lived and worked twenty years in Chicago, and returned to central Illinois in 2000 to raise her kids in Normal, where she still resides.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kathleen Kirk has been an assistant professor of English at DePaul and Lincoln College, a bookstore and library assistant, poetry editor for Poetry East, RHINO, and Escape into Life, an encyclopedia editor, professional actor and director, and morgue librarian.

Kirk's writing has appeared in: Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, Confrontation, Eclectica, Greensboro Review, Lake Effect, Many Mountains Moving, Menacing Hedge, Nimrod, Poetry East, Puerto del Sol, Quarter After Eight, Quiddity, RHINO, Sweet, Leveler, and Waccamaw. It has also been included in the following anthologies: Feast: Poetry & Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place (Sundress Publications, 2014), An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions, 2009), Poem, Revised (Marion Street Press, 2008), and In a Fine Frenzy (University of Iowa Press, 2005). She edited Where We Live: Illinois Poets (Book Surge, 2003).

Her chapbooks include: Spiritual Midwifery (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2019), The Towns (Unicorn Press, 2018), ABCs of Women's Work (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2015), Interior Sculpture: poems in the voice of Camille Claudel (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), and Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012).


Patricia Dobler Award, Carlow University, 2019

Ekphrasis Prize, Ekphrasis Journal

Willow Review Poetry Award

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Broken Sonnets
ISBN: 159924506X. OCLC Number: 779988524

Finishing Line Press,. .

Kathleen Kirk's poems are luminous. They take light not only as a subject, but also cast light on the hidden griefs--a first tooth lost to a backyard, letters left unread or unwritten--and unexpected mercies--a couple holding nothing but each other, the animal moment ... , a friend who listens well to grief. Each broken sonnet erupts, its flash breaking open the everyday unsaid, and all that is hidden there.--Paulette Beete.

Living on the Earth (New Women's Voices, No. 74)
ISBN: 1599245779. OCLC Number:

Finishing Line Press. .

Selected Roles
ISBN: 0975579584. OCLC Number: 778891118

Moon Journal Press,. .