Keli Osborn lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she co-coordinates a monthly reading series for a diverse lineup of authors and works with community service organizations. Keli’s poems appear in multiple journals and anthologies, including KYSO Flash, The Quotable and the 2015 Red Sofa Poets chapbook, How to Love Everything.
Describe your nightstand.
On top, beside my lamp, I have an Olbas inhaler, sleep mask, ink pen and bowl of heart-shaped stones. On the low shelf below, along with one of my journals, are two books that came home from the library on the same day: Carrie Brownstein’s pensive and poetic memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, and Elvis Costello’s Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. I like to give books as gifts and they sometimes return, and I have my spouse’s H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald. I also have several books by other writers with Oregon connections–Thorn, by Evan Morgan Williams; The Company of Sharks, from Eugene poet Jenny Root; Second Nature, by Eugene poet John Witte; Fragile Acts, by Allan Peterson; and Infinite Awareness, The Awakening of a Scientific Mind, from Marjorie Hines Woollacott, a longtime University of Oregon faculty member writing about her experiences with science, meditation and spirituality. A good friend introduced me to his cousin Caroline Goodwin’s poetry (she’s the Poet Laureate of San Mateo County), and I’m reading Peregrine and Trapline. Then, there are the Sunday newspaper scraps, January issues of Poetry and The Sun–and, beneath the wobbly stack, Before It’s Too Late, Don’t Leave Your Loved Ones Unprepared, a workbook from Emily Oishi & Sue Thompson. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Do you prefer reading print or ebooks?
Print. (I downloaded a book to my laptop nearly three years ago and still haven’t finished reading it. But, a friend’s given me an aging Kindle, and I’m going to try again.)
What book made the biggest impression on you as a kid?
Our family’s set of encyclopedias. I could open any volume to any page and find a world.