Poetry. “Sensuous, sensual, brave and insistent, Sanelli’s work shows the enclosures we tend provide no refuge. Cruelty, violation, aging or sudden death aren’t invaders; they’ve been under our feet all along: ‘the world, suddenly, too overexposed / to see, too piercing to hear.’ This gardener is…unprotected by pose. Her poems lead us out of self-consciousness into the risk of presence and truth…” -Jody Aliesan.
“I came away from her poems resolved to look more intimately at life and with a fervent desire to write down my own observations. That alone is the highest compliment I can pay this excellent poet” -Laurie Wagner Buyer.
Mary Lou Sanelli has earned a solid reputation in the literary and public-speaking community through a steady commitment to writing and through twenty years of successful public readings and presentations. She has published seven collections of poetry, three works of nonfiction, Among Friends, Falling Awake, and A Woman Writing. The Star Struck Dance Studio (of Yucca Springs) is her first novel (Chatwin Books). Her regular columns appear in Seattle’s City Living Magazine, Art Access magazine, The Queen Anne/Magnolia News, as well as Lilipoh magazine and Dance Teacher magazine. She has written for the Seattle Times, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Morning Edition, National Public Radio, Seattle’s NPR affiliate station KUOW FM, and many other publications and radio stations. Honorariums include an Artist Trust GAP Award, Poetry on the Buses, A Jack Straw Writers Award, A Seattle Bumbershoot Festival Book Award, The Skagit River Poetry Festival, A GoodReads Notable Book Award, and writing residencies in France, Costa Rica, and Spain. She presents her work at corporate events, conferences, literary venues, colleges and universities, book clubs, private events, and fundraising salons. Also a master teacher of Lyrical style contemporary dance, she teaches workshops throughout the world. This professional dance training and performance experience enables her to present with skills that surpass the average author reading. She lives with her husband in Seattle. “What Sanelli does in front of an audience is easier to recognize than it is to define.” -The Seattle Times. For more on Mary Lou Sanelli, please visit: marylousanelli.com
Observations from listeners at her readings: “When Mary Lou Sanelli reads her work, her energy says to audiences, these words or images or ideas exist in this poem for a reason—listen to them and pay attention. Because she performs her work this way, her listeners help make the poem as she is reading it.” Audiences have commented that Sanelli’s readings are “inspiring,” “informal, friendly,” “playful,” and “have real emotion.” One final listener observation: “Throughout her reading and her interjections, I would be set to hear one thing and another would come out. Her poems follow the pattern of surprises at every bend in the road.” –Carmen Germain, Foothills Writers Series