KELLY GRACE THOMAS is the winner of the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle, a 2018 finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee and Best of the Next nominee. Boat Burned, her first full-length collection, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2019. Kelly’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: the Los Angeles Review, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, Sixth Finch, Muzzle, DIAGRAM and more. Kelly has received fellowships from Tin House, Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, Kenyon Review Young Writers’ and more. Kelly currently works to bring poetry to underserved youth as the Director of Education and Pedagogy for Get Lit-Words Ignite. She is the co-author of Words Ignite: Explore, Write and Perform, Classic and Spoken Word Poetry (Literary Riot). This textbook and curriculum is currently taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District using poetry to target English intervention skills. Kelly teaches editing workshops both in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. She is currently a reader for Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Kelly is also a screenwriter, Magic Little Pills, a romantic comedy written by her and her sister, Kat Thomas, was recently selected for the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Omid, and is currently working on her debut novel, a YA thriller titled Only 10.001. www.kellygracethomas.com
Read first-hand experiences from clients working with Kelly Grace Thomas as an editor, workshop instructor, and writing coach.
Kelly is a knowledgeable, generous, helpful teacher and editor of both poetry and prose. In her workshop I continuously learn new techniques for crafting my writing, deepening my voice, and pushing the boundaries of language. This past year I had several poems published in reputable journals - all of them came from Kelly's workshop, or were significantly improved by her editing skills. If you want to learn a great deal about craft, and have a warm, fun, supportive environment while you do, I highly recommend working with Kelly.
- Tresha Faye Haefner Rubenstein, Founder of the Poetry Salon
Kelly's writing classes succeed on every level. Not only does she take the time to read poems with deep passion and heart, but her extensive knowledge of the publishing industry ensures that your writing will be read beyond the walls of the classroom. This balance between artistry and professional knowledge is rare, and makes Kelly one of the best teachers -- of any subject-- I've known.
- Colleen Hamilton Lecky, UCLA student
I call Kelly Grace, PW, short for Poem Whisperer. I dubbed her this distinction because of her amazing skills as a coach, editor, teacher, workshop leader, and ride or die friend to poets.
Kelly Grace is incredibly perceptive and sensitive to her students' voices and poetry. She provides a creative atmosphere of safety where poets create outstanding and publishable work. Additionally, she is well read, and is familiar with books and resources poets need to hone their skills.
- Angela Franklin, memoirist and author
“I have loved writing & theatre for my whole life. No one ever told me to write a play before Kelly Grace Thomas. She is as magical a teacher, as powerful a guide, as everyone says.
Her force is deep and natural, and she is a born advisor. With her encouragement, I wrote a play that is being produced and opens this weekend! And I am working on a musical with a full band, set to open in 2019.
With youth, she fosters them to dig farther into themselves, to work harder, to treat themselves kindly and take themselves seriously.
She is every fantastical teacher from the storybooks we love (Matilda, Miss Nelson’s Class, etc.) combined. One of a kind. Once in a generation. Honored to know her and work with her.”
- Veronika Shulman, Head Storyteller, Bambino Branding
Kelly helps me to look at words in a different dimension. She is able to cut and create more edges, and crisp turns in the poem. I just started work with her recently but my submitted poems getting publish like a fireworks!!!
One of most important thing that I value is accountability. I can count on her in the deathbed. Kelly is always keep her promise on editing time with wide open her poet’s hawk eye with her magical editing pen in her hand. She has tremendous gift as an editor and beautiful genuine soul as a human and she really care for your work with kind heart. I am incredibly happy to work with Kelly. Kelly helps me to look at words in a different dimension. She is able to cut and create more edges, and crisp turns in the poem. I just started work with her recently but my submitted poems getting publish like a fireworks!!!
- Tanya Ko-Hong, author of Generation One Point Five and Mother to Myself
Kelly is one of the most generous, talented, and hard working writers I know. Not only is she a master of the craft, with a passion for finding just the right image or word, but she also has a gift for identifying what's not working in my pages, and giving actionable and meaningful feedback. Writing is a lonely journey, and having Kelly as my guide along the way is what helps keep me going.
-Julia Campbell, USC educator and novelist
Kelly Grace Thomas’s Poetry & Social Justice classes have been a huge boon to my writing. And doing her brilliant prompts in class have allowed me to dissolve the barrier between realpolitik and art. She is a master poetry teacher.”
-Bill Ratner, Voice-over Actor and Storyteller