Ballentine, KB



Wild weaves through each of us, but the spirit of wild doesn't always rage. Sometimes it is the gentle, quiet moments alone in our souls that show us who and what we are. The spirit of strength, the spirit of wonder, the spirit of curiosity, the spirit of fury, the spirit of peace are all part of us. But we bottle or ignore them, questioning our anxiety and depression.

These poems speak to that spark in each of us that we might remember even through our sorrows, tragedies, joys, and silent seasons that the spirit of wild doesn't call us - it is us. Don't ignore it. Don't let it go. Hold it tight as you dream, when you wake, and as you live your day. Yes, live. Live and embrace wild.

"What did you want to be, when you thought you could / be anything?" asks poet KB Ballentine. The poems in this luminous collection emerge as beacons, offering guidance in brief moments bound in rich imagery. Ballentine's unmistakable voice and skill with language shine throughout, balancing the natural world with the natural interiors of the human heart. What is the "spirit of wild" if not that pairing, that step into our truest selves as "the restless wind whispers courage." Find your courage in these poems.

-Sandy Coomer, author of The Broken Places

As KB Ballentine delves without fear from windowed rooms into a wilderness of forest and ocean, it soon becomes clear that even the darkness in her collection Spirit of Wild is one that teems with life, wing, and song. Ballentine shows us that there is "a shelter for the sacred in each of us." Spirit of Wild is a balm, and I didn't know how much I needed it.

-Chera Hammons, author of Maps of Injury

Spirit of Wild confirms that "each day waits with sudden mysteries, / offerings, / like dreams half-remembered / from the night." In lyrical, precise language that throbs and pulses with the rhythms of the natural world, Ballentine celebrates the spirit of all manner of life's organic wonders, from the fox and wren to the bee and seahorse, to lavender fog and "stones cloaked in mossy silence." I can't think of a better time for this exuberant collection to come to light, nor a better time to heed Ballentine's call to "cast off the rooms where we've boxed ourselves tight / step into the den of the forest's deep heart."


KB Ballentine received her MFA in Poetry from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. She has participated in writing academies in the United States and Europe and holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in English.

She currently teaches high school English, theatre, and creative writing and adjuncts for a local college. She also conducts writing workshops throughout the United States.

Author of eight collections of poetry and published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, KB was a finalist for the 2006 Joy Harjo Poetry Award and a 2007 finalist for the Ruth Stone Prize in Poetry. KB received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund Award in 2006 and 2007. She was an Opera Omaha finalist in 2008, a 2014 finalist for the Ron Rash Poetry Award, and received the Libba Moore Gray Poetry Prize in 2016.

Learn more about KB Ballentine at