Putting passion into poems

Exploring the nature of memory, examining how and what a person remembers, might sound daunting for some, but Kate Buckley chose it as the theme for her second book of poems.

The collection looks at how memory can heal and “lead us through the dark valley of loss to love.”

“I envisioned the book as a journey for readers to examine their own humanity,” Buckley said.

The Laguna Beach resident will debut her second collection of poems, “Follow Me Down,” at 8 p.m. Friday at Golden West College.

“She is making her mark on the landscape of contemporary American poetry,” said Molly Peacock, Buckley’s mentor and a graduate faculty member at Spalding University, where Buckley is completing her master’s degree in fine arts.

The collection has poems that differ in subject matter from a young woman in Colorado and a civil rights uprising to Buckley’s own experiences. The subjects are so diverse, there will be something to touch the emotions of anyone who reads the book, said Ricki Mandeville, Buckley’s friend and editor.

With the launch of her second collection of poems, Buckley said, she is working on her third book — a book of sonnets. Buckley has found a way to put a 21st-century California spin on the sonnet, Peacock said.

“There are people who are doing this, but Kate is putting a youthful romanticism into the sonnet,” she said.

Whether strict sonnets or short poems, Buckley has always been a writer. Buckley’s grandmother told her that when she was young, she said she wanted to be a poet, a painter, a hostess and an acrobat.

While ambitious in her youth, Buckley has accomplished her childhood ambitions — with two books of poetry under her belt and one more on the way, a collection of paintings accompanying her first book, a Pilates certification and a knack for throwing “fabulous parties.”

Finding a way to do everything, according to her editor, is fitting to Buckley’s personality.

“Kate’s just passionate about everything she does,” Mandeville said.

If You Go

What: Launch of Kate Buckley’s second book of poems, “Follow Me Down”

Where: Golden West College, Community Room 102

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Info: www.katebuckley.com

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