Episode 36: A Giant’s Monologue

June 23, 2017

Present at the Editorial Table:

Jason Schneiderman

Kathleen Volk Miller

Marion Wrenn

Samantha Neugebauer

Sharee DeVose

Tim Fitts

Engineering Producer:

Joe Zang


This week at the editorial table, we discuss three poems by Matthew Kelsey, “Confessions of a Giant,” “Giant Gets Adopted,” and “Giant Loses His Virginity.”

Matthew Kelsey, at 6’7”, is something of a giant and, as can be gleaned from his poems, is also his own uncle. Kelsey has played the cello since he was 8 years old and is in his hometown’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Some of his writings and recordings can be found in Bread Loaf, Pacifica Literary Review, Poetry Northwest, The Monarch Review, The Awesome Sports Project. A huge fan of puns, Kelsey has given lectures on humor and wordplay in poetry and dreams of some day founding an interactive children’s poetry museum.

Kelsey’s giant series is a well-constructed compilation of tall jokes, spot-on language, and imagery that make these poems come to life. Each evokes feelings of sympathy and compassion, leading us into discussion of the brilliant tension between humor and pain.  The speaker reflects on growing up, facing complicated, struggling to understand himself, and the dread and thrill of a romantic relationship. We find this giant’s monologue to be surreal, funny, sad, and refreshing all at the same time. Oh, and some of us demand a book-length collection from this giant!

Tune in for the verdict! And let us know what you think about this episode on Facebook and Twitter with #GiraffePorn!

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