Kleven as poet

Seattle-Saginaw: The Reach of Theodore Roethke
Defiance Street
CIRQUE - Book Fair Signing - AWP
Blue Moon for Poets Reading
Poetry Parley
Poets in Winter - The Series
Alaska Poets in Winter ~ 2013
Alaska Poets in Winter ~ 2013 - Morgan
Alaska Poets in Winter ~ 2013 - Emily Wall
Live & Moving, 2012
Amazing M-P
Spenard Jazz Festival
Kleven as poet
Creative Process
Fremont Show
"Like This" -- in production
HeartWorks Press
HeartWorks Press Catalog
Mike's Vita
Aniak dances
Poems on the Fly 2010
Poem at Christmas - 2009
"To the Moon" - Roethke
Roethke Score
Roethke - Running commentary
Roethke Poetry
Roethke film - Raw footage
"To the Moon! Credits
Poster - The Making of Roethke tribute
T-Shirts and more for Roethke
Production Stills
"Plotting" Midnight Sun Cafe
Naked Seattle - Fremont Solstice
BHS Class of '63

Two poems by Sandra Kleven have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.


Flight to Holy Cross in 2009.


"Orestes" which was published by Stoneboat.


"Remnant" was nominated by F-Magazine. http://fhideout.org/

Poems on video: below

"Remnants" a short film


Sylvia your son has done.
Has done.  Has done.
A son undone.

A plumb bob.  A fell swoop.
A fraying fuse
Your son gone out. 

The family shoe, Undo, undo.
Short letters rant, Do not, Do not.
A roaring score, Alors, alors.

The worst is true.
You pay on blue.

Two, of course, there are two.
It seems perfectly natural now ——

The down dog tree, whose branches clamp
    your total lack, in fact, they rip
    the cage of your lost rib in two.
A man unstrung in black out back,
whose knees play timpani, Constant C
Against the oven door B flat.
Sweet in his hospital icebox.
A simple frill at the neck.

Then you come around
    with your frown in your hand
    like a blemish of fish,
    like a Flemish witch, a twitch
    to the cuttlefish agony, you do not face
    until this death wishing sore unwell
    meets you in your cookery
To rhyme a rank reunion song.

Eyes run with ruddy scrim.
Sylvia, you remember him;
the baby in the barn
cut down.



At my window the willow is quaking,
the storm pounds delicate and deep.
I was up all night writing in cursive
pools of cerulean are staining my feet.

My berries were pinched and bitten
when they looked for something to sell.
All night they came through windows.
I had to give them something small.

Dangerous men have taken my buttons.
My sleeves fly holey in the breeze.
They dally me, daily; my thighs tender sighs.
Call it, Tit for Tat. Now, they listen.

Take this kiss to the gravel pits and
say you don’t know me.

My hand reaches across such monstrosities of time.
I knew you when I was little.
You were nice and,
Oh, your arms were round and hollow.

For you, I would wander with chickens and matches.
For you, I would disgrace my family,
let the apples under my apron feed swine.

Wet my ears with your waxwing runner.
Cross my heart with your piccolo tongue.

No paths led through the blackberries;
I got lost every day, including this one.
Every day, I fell on the honor stone.
What I gave to them, I can give again.

My legs ache to hold you and
a beachy wetness bothers my thigh.
It is cool where waters find me and the
storm has taken a new direction.

Now they question me and turn me out
calling me precise and French.
Kiss me, a short vow. Someone is coming.
Kiss me, seriously. My horn is lost.

Keep me in your right frontal hideout.
Kiss me with your momentary mouth.
Upside-down on a kitchen stool
touch the mouse I keep in my skirts.

I am so ashamed of this terrible need.
Make up anything, I will do it.
You are nice and,
Oh, your arms are round and hollow.

At my door, your hand is knocking,
The storm pounds delicate and deep.
I’ve been up all night writing instructions.
Pools of cerulean have colored my feet.


Please follow this link to five poems by Sandra Kleven, published March, 2011 in Praxilla

"quote of the day" from Praxilla

Finest of all things I have left is the light of the sun,
Next to that the brilliant stars and the face of the moon,
Cucumbers in their season, too, and apples and pears.

Praxilla (Greek, 5th century BCE)
Fragment of a hymn to Adonis, trans. Bernard Knox

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Cold Flashes: Literary Snapshots of Alaska


"For Jon,Once My Brother"
Oklahoma Review
May, 2009


Alaska Quarterly Review

A Murder of Crows: Solstice 2007
Isn’t it darker this year?  More dread?
Like a murder of crows
or a wounding of crows
    or a slick waxwing?
Didn’t it come in strands
on the breeze
black as coal smoke
    a putrid whiff now and then
    of creosote and clay?
Just a drifting breeze, touched with smoke
circling with seasons, settling like a dusty veil
in subtle defiance of Solstice redemption.
You waved it away. 
I did. I did.  
Still, it pressed an apprehension
a foreboding
    to nibble at the gut
    like stray mice in grain
    like something important forgotten somewhere
To be probed with the tongue
like you bother a broken tooth.
The news was bad. 
Word came on a death ship
bad news as relentless as Katrina. 
Did you turn it off?
I did.  I did. 
It turned me off.
Later, you had to think.
Chew words like character, destiny, and principle.
Choke words like torture, incompetent, out of control.
Then, done, doomed, lost, dust. 
When is it bad enough to scream uncle or
To crawl on your belly
under the radar, stealing to Canada
Ashes smeared across your mouth
Tasting tar and oblivion
Clothes ripped and ragged
Heart drained, despairing
To bargain, beg,
to offer your throat
your sex
hope of heaven
To turn the death ship around 
To say you want no part of this
murder of crows?
I remember bands of brothers
eyes shining
Friday night lights
Ready to die for America. 
Not affable death mongers. 
An extraordinary rendition of drooling birds 
 inchoate spawn
gruel lappers.    
A mangling and gnashing
Murder of Crows.

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On this night, in this deep dark
Confidence in redemption flags.
Will we shout back another day, another chance?
Does the flame go out this time?
You gathered here, what is in your throat?
a cacophony of possibility?
a busting of chains?
Do the sounds of silence tear ruby flesh?
Cough it up. Spit it out.
Can you still
I can. I can.
But only when we gather the ravens
and the wild birds – a flock of flockers
A cobbling of characters
An industry of artists
A flight of teachers
A congress of conspirators
A murder of crows
Committed to an older order
To a call, who will set fire to vile vanities
Who offer open hands
contemplative hearts
concern for kids.
And peace. In our time.
An end to war. In our time.
Let’s call back the sun.
One more time and one more time
I invoke these holy words
Intone the call
To overcome
One more time.
To study war no more and
Like a tree by water not be moved.
Pounding swords, pounding swords.
Into hammers of justice while
Bells of freedom ring one more time
To the brilliant light of ages
Diminish this dread night
Burst forth with bright cacophony
To admit the power of the word
Maybe again
Love is all you need
To dispel the darkening horror
To call back our fearless sun
Let’s call it home.
Let’s call it home.
~~ Sandra Kleven

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Current issue Topic

"Bad Rap:
How to Stop Alaska's Teens
from Killing Themselves"  

Cirque Journal, June 2011 Michael and Sandra Kleven Interview with David Wagoner

Also in Cirque Journal (Issues 1-2-3) "Jaden is Calling" "The Canny Invention" "Bridges"


Award Winning

The Right Touch: A Read-Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, 1999, Illumination Arts.


Alaska's painful heart

"Holy Land" Alaska Quarterly Review, 2005


"The Canny Invention"


Holiday party with Alaska writers and friends.
With Writers in Winter, 2008

Photos - Michael Kleven 

Author bio --  Sandra Kleven is a poet, film maker, and a visual artist.  Her poetry and other writing has appeared in CirqueAlaska Quarterly Review, Oklahoma Review, Topic Magazine, and  F-Zine.  She has work in the anthologies Cold Flashes: Literary Snapshots of Alaska and Alaska Women Speak (September 2010).  

In 2009, Kleven received a second Celebration Foundation award to support her creative work.  A clinical consultant with a specialty in young children, she travels to small Alaska villages during the school year.  Her children’s book, The Right Touch, winner of a Benjamin Franklin Award, is a top-seller on the subject of abuse prevention.  

“The Touching Problem,” Kleven’s first film was awarded a Seattle area EMMY award.  In 2010, she produced a short film, “To the Moon: An Homage to the Poet, Theodore Roethke.”   

Her mixed-media work has been displayed at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art; her 2010 show was titled, “Devils of Poetry.”   

Kleven has roots Washington State as well as Alaska where she lives with her family.  Kleven holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska/Anchorage. 

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Official Spenard Jazz Fest poet 2009 -- 2010



Spenard Jazz Festival

Jazz Back Up video

Reading "Dust of My Dad"

Poems on the Fly from Spenard Jazz Festival

For Yngvil, as once again she takes flight. 


…the world offers itself to your imagination, 
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--

                                                    Mary Oliver

Wild geese are noisy tonight.
Soon they fly off. Where do they go?
Elsewhere.  That’s all I know.


Yesterday, a juvenile circled the lake
His wings batting frantic
To splash down where he started.


Practicing, he knows not for what,
Beyond him, soon and


To wild geese there are
No boundaries.  It is the
Same with you. 


Elsewhere. That’s all I know,
Beyond tonight and


          ~  Sandra Kleven  



3978 Defiance Street

Anchorage, Alaska 99504

Link to CIRQUE @ AWP