Kelly McNally's full name is Kelly Gael Murphy McNally. She is a full-blooded Irish-American maven with the wild red hair to prove it. Her poetry and performance style are reflective of her passionate aquarian nature... continually evolving, rich in imagery, taking her audience from the sensual through the political to the mystical and the emotional, then back again.
Kelly began writing to keep her sanity during a chaotic adolescence, and began reading her work at The Coffeehouse, the oldest poetry and folk venue in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 18. A few months later, she won their annual Mid-Winter Folk Festival Talent Contest, an event usually won by musicians. In the nine years since then, she's traveled the country, performing poetry at venues across the nation and earning a Creative Writing degree from Antioch College.
(photo courtesy David Huang)
For the last three years, Kelly has found home in the Santa Cruz mountains of northern California. She competed at the National Poetry Slam on the Santa Cruz team in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and for the past two years has held the title of Slam Champion of Santa Cruz, sharing that title in 2000 with award-winning poet Shailja Patel. For the past year she has also served as SlamMaster of Santa Cruz,organizing a new Slam series at Moe's Alley blues club, as well as facilitating a series of poetry workshops at the Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall. Kelly's writings have appeared in Nerve, RAA World,Shepherd Express, Goings On, and in the anthology "Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry" (Gary Mex Glazner, ed., Manic D Press). She is currently living on the road, touring the United States and Canada to promote her first spoken-word CD, Millenium Burn: Rants and Blessings.
You can read more about Kelly McNally at her website.
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