Kendra Tanacea / A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Booksmith is proud to host the launch party for Kendra Tanacea's poetry collection A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees. Reading with Kendra will be Tracey Knapp and Peter Kline. Join us!



A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees explores life's strains and joys and the human compulsion to create something lasting despite certain entropy. Teardowns, remodels, sex, longing, joy; sometimes tender, sometimes humorous, these poems explore interpersonal relationships of all kinds and embrace the competing impulses of working hard at changing life's course and fatalistic acceptance. Kendra's poems keep the light on in the darkest of places: “Come after midnight, your hand / on the door, and me, lit, humming.”






The passions and quiet violences that bind us and drive us apart fuel these poems. Tanacea writes with uncluttered immediacy and incandescent candor about domesticity, drugs, family, memory, divorce, sex as spirituality, fertility, horses and more. How can you resist a poet who employs “white-nightgowning” as a verb! Restraint and empathy undergird this collection, magnify the poems’ emotional power. Tanacea allows tangible things their uncanny ability to make the ineffable eloquent. Stirring, elegant and rueful, the poems are affective x-rays, illuminating the darkly erotic, the architecture of intimacy. – Amy Gerstler


Kendra Tanacea’s A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees is a glorious paean to perseverance in the face of life’s passages. Sparse, irreverent, and ardent, these poems, with all of their poignant humor and fervid intelligence, are rooted in a belief that artful language heals and we survive because of a steady reaffirmation of the powers of song. – Major Jackson


"What a terrific collection! What I particularly like about these poems: their plain-speaking, their verbal economy. Her subjects are not unusual – sex, family, domestica – but there are verbal surprises all the way through, and even the longer poems have an epigrammatic quality. A book of poems that has depth of feeling but is also fun to read." – Ed Ochester




Kendra Tanacea, an attorney in San Francisco, holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees was a semifinalist for the Washington Prize and a finalist for the Idaho Prize for Poetry. Kendra’s poems have appeared in 5AM, Rattle, Moon City Review, The Coachella Review, Stickman Review, and Juked, among others. Visit her online at

Tracey Knapp's first full-length collection of poems, Mouth, won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award and was published in 2015. She has received scholarships and awards from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fund. Her work has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2008 and 2010, The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems, and has appeared in Poetry Daily, Five Points, Red Wheelbarrow Review, The New Ohio Review and elsewhere.

Peter Kline teaches writing at the University of San Francisco and Stanford University. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he has also received residency fellowships from the Amy Clampitt House, James Merrill House, Artsmith Orcas Island, Marble House Project, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Foundation, as well as First Prize in the 2015 River Styx International Poetry Contest and the 2010 Marr Poetry Prize from Southwest Review. His poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Five Points, Poetry, Tin House, and many other journals, as well as the Best New Poets series, the Verse Daily website, and the 2015 Random House anthology of metrical poetry, Measure for Measure. Since 2012 he has directed the San Francisco literary reading series Bazaar Writers Salon. His first collection of poetry, Deviants, was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in 2013.



RSVP appreciated but not required. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to request a signed copy of A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, please order below and put your request in the comments field. 




A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996858489
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lost Horse Press - February 22nd, 2017

Mouth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780983074786
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: 42 Miles Press - September 1st, 2015

Deviants Cover Image
ISBN: 9781622880294
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Stephen F. Austin University Press - October 24th, 2013