Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly's Fundraiser

I'm Going to Write, A Lot! image

I'm Going to Write, A Lot!

Will you help me meet my goal for Tupelo Press?


$870 towards $1,000

January 27, 2021

Dear Friend,

You are in a bookshop, and you pick up a book of poetry. You’ve never heard of the poet but the title intrigues. The cover design suggests a theme that makes you curious, interior pages are laid out with care, a pleasure to read.

So you take a look at one poem first, something in the middle. Then you turn to the table of contents, pick out another of interest, and you find yourself reading this book, standing there in the bookstore (remember when we could all do that?), then you bring it to the cashier and tote it home.

You mark thoughts and questions in margins. You start carrying it around with you, in your bag, backpack, car, bicycle rack. Not only have you encountered the book, you’ve engaged with it, you want it on your bookshelf always, like a stack of letters from a friend.

This is the kind of book made by independent literary publishers, smaller presses that find a gem and create for it a setting. They raise up wonderful poets and important new voices from a universe of places and experiences and approaches, and they do so with a personal approach.

Tupelo Press is one of the very best. Because of Tupelo, I know and love the work of Ilya Kaminsky, Lauren Camp, Maggie Smith, Dan Beachy-Quick, and so many more. I treasure these books for the writing and I treasure them for the care with which they were made. And I treasure the process of discovery and rediscovery that is both central to poetry and Tupelo’s editorial approach.

Tupelo operates on a circuit of love and commitment and quality. It does not not run on a profit-driven treadmill, though books that do result in higher sales mean more work gets published and into our eager hands. But, no getting around it, sales alone never fully support a fine, independent literary press.

What I can do to help is, I can write a poem a day for the entire month of February, to appear on Tupelo’s website. What you can do is support both Tupelo and me with a contribution. I know good books mean a lot to you, and that you have encouraged my own development as a poet. That’s why I’m inviting you to join in this effort.

Let me know who you are! You may send me an email or message if you prefer to be anonymous on this page. As a way of showing my thanks, for every gift of $50.00 or more, I will send a set of five notecards, each featuring a photo from my collection. For $100 or more, I will write a poem on a theme of your choice. You name it! I hope you will.

Thank you so much!


Deborah Kelly