Klein Family School of Communications Design
program director, M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts
M.A., The Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Ohio University
Teaching gives me the opportunity to introduce others to this intimate and challenging occupation. Students come to poetry with a fair amount of reticence and sometimes even resistance, and I try to help them learn ways to read poetry that can stimulate their imagination. And since poetry is one of the most human of the arts, in which one makes direct contact with personal experience, the classroom can become a very special, and sometimes sacred, place.
I am a poet, an editor and a publisher. Over the past 26 years, I have edited Passager, a national literary journal I co-founded, which features older writers and honors their creativity. The idea for Passager emerged while I was teaching a writing class at the Waxter Center for Senior Citizens in downtown Baltimore. I had never been in a room full of 70-, 80- and 90-year-olds, and the passion was exhilarating. It changed my life.
In 2005, Passager Books was established. Our first book, A Cartography of Peace by then-86-year-old poet Jean Connor, opened up the author's life to all kinds of adventures: giving readings and interviews and, recently, working with composers who have set her poems to music.
Now at age 96, Jean has published a second book, A Hinge of Joy, and has become a celebrated and much loved poet in Vermont.
I am deeply interested in exploring the book as an object of art and discovering new ways to integrate text and image and to create objects (books) that are conceptually imaginative, experimental and original.
I teach courses in creativity, creative writing, literature and publishing. I am convinced there is no school quite like UB. The diversity of students creates life and surprise in the classroom, and each student's life experiences provide so many riches to draw from when developing poems, short stories and essays. UB students are giving, inspiring and appreciative of their education; nothing is taken for granted. And in general, they seem to have so much energy and spirit—going to school and working full time, raising children. They are focused, organized, talented and very, very caring. I feel compelled to give them as much as I can in the short time we are together.
Spotlighting a press for older writers
Feb. 20, 2017, The Baltimore Sun
Passager Publishing focuses solely on senior writers
Oct. 13, 2016, The Tribune
Works by Kendra Kopelke:
- Eager Street (Stonevale Press)
- Carpe Diem, Ants (Seedbed of Irony Press)
- Bladderville (Willa Catheter Press)
- Hopper's Women (Ampersand Press)
- When Divas Dance, an anthology (Maisonneuve Press)
As editor of Passager Books:
- A Cartography of Peace by Jean Connor
- Improvise in the Amen Corner by Larnell Custis Butler
- A Little Breast Music by Shirley Brewer
- A Hinge of Joy by Jean Connor
- Perris, California by Norma Chapman
- Everything is True at Once by Bart Galle
- Nightbook by Steve Matanle
- I Shall Go as I Came by Ellen Dudis
- Beyond Lowru Bridge by Roy Tsung
- The Want Fire by Jennifer Wallace
- Hot Flash Sonnets by Moira Egan
- Because There Is No Return by Diana Anhalt
- Never the Loss of Wings by Maryhelen Snyder
- Sunday in Purgatory by Henry Morgenthau lll
- Little Miracles by Jim Zimmerman
- The Chugalug King by Andrew Brown
- Gathering the Soft by Becky D. Sakellariou
- Finding Mr. Rightstein by Nancy Kelton
- The Three O’Clock Bird by Anne Frydman
- View from the Hilltop: North Oaks Writers
- Keeping Time: 150 Years of Journal Writing
- Burning Bright: Passager Celebrates 21 Years
- Passager journal, issues 1-61