Kim Dower, City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood from October 2016–October 2018, and originally from New York City, has published four collections of poetry: Air Kissing on Mars, her first—“sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combining humor and heartache,” Los Angeles Times—was chosen as one of the few poetry books to be honored by the state of California and is on display at the Governor’s Mansion; Slice of Moon, “unexpected and sublime,” O Magazine; Last Train to the Missing Planet, “poems that speak about the gray space between tragedy and tenderness, memory and loss, fragility and perseverance,” Richard Blanco; and Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave, which won the Gold IPPY Award for best poetry book from an indie press in 2019. Her poems are included in several anthologies, notably, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, (Beyond Baroque Books/Pacific Coast Poetry Series). She teaches workshops for Antioch University, UCLA Writer’s Extension, and the West Hollywood Library. Additionally, Kim’s literary publicity company, Kim-from-L.A., helps authors around the country get the word out about their wonderful books.
I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
A rich, complex, heartbreaking, and funny anthology of poems on motherhood—being one and having one.
Kim Dower’s poetry has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combining humor and heartache,” and by O Magazine as “unexpected and sublime.” Acclaimed for combining the accessible and profound, her poems about motherhood are some of her most moving and disarmingly candid. I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom is an anthology of her poems on being a mother—childbirth to empty nest—as well as being a daughter with all the teenaged messiness, drama and conflict, to finally caring for one’s mother suffering from dementia. Culled from her four collections as well as a selection of new work, these poems, heartbreaking, funny, surprising, and touching, explore the quirky, unexpected observations, and bittersweet moments mothers and daughters share. These evocative poems do not glorify mothers, but rather look under the hood of motherhood and explore the deep crevices and emotions of these impenetrable relationships: the love, despair, joy, humor and gratitude that fills our lives.
Tradepaper: $15.95 / ISBN: 978-1-63628-088-2
Casebound: $19.95 / ISBN: 978-1-63628-023-3
“What we inherit from our mothers, what we carry forward, what we never receive, and what we choose to leave behind—Kim Dower’s poetry resonates with the echo of a rich and complex mother-daughter relationship that she gently and carefully unravels, line by line. This is a stunning collection from a poet whose wisdom as a daughter and a mother shines through on every page.”
—Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters
“In Chinese, the written character for “mother love” is composed of two elements—”love” and “pain.” Kim Dower understands this universal concept in her bones and captures its meaning in these beautiful and powerful poems.”
—Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women
Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave
Publication Date: April 1, 2019
In Kim Dower’s fourth collection, Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave, death has never felt so alive! Alluring titles to haunting last lines, the poems in Dower’s fourth collection soothe, terrify and always surprise, revealing the extraordinary within the ordinary. Acclaimed for combining the accessible and profound, humor and heartache, Dower’s poetry continues to be quirky, dark, sexy, disarmingly candid and moving, and here she explores the landscape of death and its intersections with love, longing, obsession, sadness, joy and beauty. Wise and soaring, these poems bravely imagine another life beyond the one we all know where even the angels surrounding the graves are wearing bikinis, smoking Kool Light
GOLD – 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Poetry
“By turns exuberant, sexy and sobering, Kim Dower’s remarkable poems are known for their extraordinary range. This fourth collection finds her at the top of her game. Attuned to the oddness of the quotidian and grounding the metaphysical in the sharp sensations of daily life, the poems in Tyrone Power’s Grave invite us to live as fully and generously as the poet herself.” —Chris Kraus, bestselling author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker
“Kim Dower’s poems speak not of the highs and lows, but about the grey space between tragedy and tenderness, memory and loss, fragility and perseverance—that space where the soul and the truest self live.” —Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet
“Kim Dower’s poetry has a way of transforming everyday life into something luminous and unexpected. Simultaneously accessible and complex, whimsical and heartbreaking, Dower’s poetry shines with subtle irony and playful imagination, empathetic and relatable, as well as full of wisdom.”—Culture Trip
Last Train to the Missing Planet
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Expect the unexpected, while being entertained, engaged, inspired: experience the always present but rarely recognized miraculous moments of our everyday lives in this anticipated third collection from Kim Dower.
Acclaimed for combining the accessible and profound, Kim Dower’s poetry has been described by The Los Angeles Times as “Sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combining humor and heartache,” and by O Magazine as “unexpected and sublime.” Her third collection, Last Train to the Missing Planet, rockets forward in this trajectory, taking us on a journey to places we’ve often visited but never seen. Buy a ticket and hop aboard: experience love, longing, and passion tipped sideways; irreverent, touching, and disarmingly sexy as illuminated by an original and brilliant light. Lose yourself in the unexplored sensations of the ordinary in this engaging year of moments, both comforting and terrifying–and always extraordinary.
“These poems speak in the voice of an old, trusted friend who knows you, who has come to visit and remind you of who you are and what a life is all about. They speak not of the highs and lows, but about the grey space between tragedy and tenderness, memory and loss, fragility and perseverance–that space where the soul and the truest self live.”—Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet
“What a pleasure it is to settle into Kim Dower’s latest collection. Dower’s poetry creates a quiet space around itself, full of worldly, humorous insights into life as it is.”—Janet Fitch
Slice of Moon
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Slice of Moon, the second poetry collection by Kim Dower, retains the whimsical, accessible style of her debut, Air Kissing on Mars, while reaching deeper, with greater lyrical intensity, irony, and poignancy. Losing one’s mother in Bloomingdale’s, the pleasures of corned beef, the power of bottled water, fear of freeways, hot springs, boob jobs, secrets in hotel rooms, dolphins sleeping with one eye open, wolves in garter belts, the strange lights next door, the people in the health food store who don’t look healthy; Slice of Moon is simultaneously funny and profound, universal and personal, and examines a life well-lived. Drenched in vivid imagery, sparkling with surprise, each poem reminds us that our lives are filled with desire and mystery.
Praise for Slice of Moon:
“…a rare and astonishing first book. It’s a kind of miracle, I tell you, a kind of miracle!”—Thomas Lux
“The poems are bold and sexy and smart.”—Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
“…sensual and evocative, lyrical snapshots of life’s bittersweet moments…seamlessly combine humor and heartache.”—Los Angeles Times
Air Kissing on Mars
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Kim Dower’s poems are sensual and rhapsodic journeys through emotional landscapes sweeping everyday life. Playful, intelligent, funny, edgy, engaging—sometimes biting, ironic and dark, sometimes dreamy and surreal, full of poignancy and arresting metaphors, the daily, simple occurrences in Air Kissing On Mars startle and provoke, while stirring up the fairy dust and turbulent weight of memory; evoking the possibilities and gorgeous chaos of life.
Open and inviting, these poems draw the reader into a world seen upside down, inside out, a sideways bird reporting on a universe filled with mystery and passion. Joan Didion meets Tinkerbell, Kim Dower’s poems are as whimsical and light as they are rich and intense. Simultaneously humorous and profound these passionate and personal poems, relatable to all, are drenched with vivid imagery, and sparkle with surprise.
Lost languages, disappearing mailboxes, locomotives pummeling through dreams, taxi drivers thrown by the earth’s rotation, shadows in closets, vanishing carrots, men who exfoliate—all manner of haunting evocations come together in this opus of shining and startling wisdom.