“There’s fun stuff and there’s sad stuff,” says Kittell, 60, who taught at Washington State University for 27 years and has terminal cancer. “I think if you love baseball, you’ll love the poems. If you’re open to new ideas, I think you’ll be open to the poems, too.”
Born in Troy, N.Y., and now living in Troy, Idaho, Kittell’s baseball poetry is informed by a love of sports that ran strong as a youth. She once worked as sports editor at a “tiny” newspaper in Vermont.
Her husband, Ron Goble, was a minor league baseball player for the Boise Buckskins.
Her word craft began taking form in the creative writing program at the University of Montana.
“I like the metaphor of love being a player,” she says of the book’s title. “And one thing people should remember — it’s really easy to think in terms of a baseball player being male, but the collection has no gender attachment to it at all.”
“Pitchers and Catchers Report”
In English, these
are the four most
beautiful words, days
like a curtain going up
on your whole life. The locker room-
bleach, floor wax and fresh paint, the snap
and slap of towels, it’s all there again.
And Love’s there too, this time, the first
time, looking around, sizing up
the others, trying hard to act
the old timers keep
glancing out at the Annies
already lining up, already
poking their pens
through the backstop.
— Linda Kittell
“Love Reports to Spring Training”
(Turning Point, 2013)
if you go
WHO: Poet Linda Kittell
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27
WHERE: Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, 415 Main St., Lewiston