Project Bookshelf: Kristin LaTour


I know, I know. It’s a mess. Book aren’t supposed to be kept on their sides. Someday, I’ll have a huge library. For now, Ikea shelves are okay.

My books are pretty organized. At the very top, there’s books on witchcraft and voodoo, my travel journals and books on Greece. I spent a month in Greece when I was in college and loved it. There’s not much better than getting a gyro on the street stuffed with meat and fries with an Amstel (not that light crap either) on the side. That vase is my hubby’s from his trip to Greece before we met. Another sign we were meant for each other. (Stop gagging.) That wooden box holds a Bible I got when my great-grandfather died when I was in 8th grade. I never thought about the fact that it lives next to witchcraft stuff. Hmmmm….

On the second level are all my poetry books. You can tell the Hyacinth Girl Press ones from the ribbons.  I’m obviously running out of room. There’s also a photo of my paternal grandfather as a baby and my mom and aunt.

Third shelf is almost all British and Irish authors, at least the ones that are shelved properly. We keep the Bevington because we need a booster seat for friends’ kids once in a while. “Get the Bevington!” we holler. Piled above my lovely Brits are a handmade journal my sister made me, some poetry books that haven’t made it to the second shelf yet, my Vintage Hairstyling book, and Dream Symbols, which really isn’t helpful and will probably get donated to my local non-profit bookstore. When I had a dream that my husband’s family was all vampires living in a barn, there really wasn’t anything helpful there. It did make a good poem that is published in Adanna this fall.

Fourth shelf… stereo obviously. I think I was magnanimous when we were setting up the shelves, and I offered to house it. My husband’s bookcase is opposite of mine with the cds keeping peace between them. Anyway, this shelf is American authors, mostly dead ones. The antique Kodak Brownie is from my in-laws’ house. The photo is my maternal grandma’s senior picture.

The fifth shelf is where all the excitement is. My city has a non-profit used bookstore, where I also volunteer, so I get lots of books there. The Newberry Library also has an awesome used book sale twice a year. All my finds go on this shelf for future reading. Behind those three stacks are all my novels that I love and can’t part with.

The bottom shelf is 1/3 travel scrapbooks (England twice, Ireland twice, France, a road trip we took in 2002, my collection of children’s books, most from my childhood with the addition of a collection of different illustrated copies of “The Velveteen Rabbit.” The last pile there is more poetry books and journals I haven’t read, and some books that need to get donated.


Kristin LaTour has three chapbooks: Agoraphobia, from Dancing Girl Press (2013), Blood (Naked Mannequin Press 2009) and Town Limits (Pudding House Press 2007). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Massachusetts Review, Fifth Wednesday, Cider Press Review, Escape into Life, and Atticus Review. Her work appears in the anthology Obsession: Sestinas in the 21st Century. A graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program, she teaches at Joliet Jr. College and lives in Aurora, IL with her writer husband, a lovebird, and two dogitos. Her first full-length collection is due out from Sundress in 2015.


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