I'm Glad We Did This

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Lage's poetry chapbook I'm Glad We Did This was published with Prolific Pulse Press in October 2023.  Upon release, I'm Glad We Did This ranked #280 in Poetry by Women on Amazon.

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"I'm Glad We Did This" paints a picture of friendship that showcases the happiness found in past and present relationships. "I'm Glad We Did This" is a poetry chapbook by Kelli Lage that celebrates the beauty of everyday life, nature, and memories. It scattered memories of simple and delicate joys throughout this chapbook. Though nostalgia is present throughout this book, the author opens it up for readers to be present, remembering those who have made us who we are.

Lage pulls from elements of her rural hometown that highlight the closeness of the relationships described in this book. With just a river dam near her, she takes in nature as much as the faces of those around her, and often intertwines the two. In I'm Glad, We Did This, readers will find a portrait of friendship that showcases the joy of past and present connections. Those who enjoy the small and beautiful moments of life, love nature, and are moved by sunlight, dew, and rivers will find this book appealing.

What Blurbers Say About I'm Glad We Did This:

I’m Glad We Did This builds on the notion of friendship and the power of connection beyond the traditional lens of camaraderie. Instead, Lage affirms that the mundane can lead to the extraordinary and indeed, that simple joy and constancy can mean much more than we give credit to. Emotive, this collection elicits a great deal of emotions that speak to the sentiment beyond the page, the love and connection that transcends the boundaries of time and space and instead, encapsulates our need for human interaction.

Lage uniquely divides this collection into three sections that focus on life-stages but also, the synthesis that has resulted in the narrator’s existence today. This gives the reader an almost biographical presentation of Lage’s growth as a human and perhaps, as a writer. Below the surface this collection speaks to a sense of connectivity that knows no limits alongside the almost coincidental interactions that feel, even if unconfirmable, fated by some entity unknown.

Lage does not compromise on language and metaphor in this collection whilst challenging the reader’s perspective on the power of friendship. ‘When darkness collides with horizons,icicles soak into the moon’s palm’, highlights the complexity of Lage’s stellar word economy that consistently serves the narrative with zeal. Lage’s narrative is delicately subservient to her authorial intent which only serves to reaffirm the skill and craft present in this collection.

Lines such as ‘As warmth dances on top of noon, I dive into days when we drank summer sun like honey. Aches and howls fed by saltwater memories’, serve to highlight the consistently broad range of imagery that make the reader a part of Lage’s experience. Lage’s debut I’m Glad We Did This is a stunner that I hope to see on everyone’s 2023 reading list!

- A.R.Arthur- Editor in Chief Fahmidan Journal/Publishing & Co, Poetry Editor Chestnut Review, Author of Half Bred-The Poetry Question

"The quiet of this small town makes my voice crack,” writes Kelli Lage, expressing in a  single line the scope of this remarkable collection of poems. By way of wistful  memories, Lage celebrates deep bonds, in particular the friendships formed in  childhood and adolescence, sustained over time, and bound inextricably to the places where those relationships first formed.  

In that way, “I’m Glad We Did This” is also a tenderhearted homage to rural America.  With the Midwest as milieu, Lage marks the cyclical passage of time and the gradual drift from innocence to experience. But throughout these poems, at least one  connection to childhood remains – the inclination to trust one’s imagination. When Lage writes, "I found daydreams could live in the same place as scraped knees and dried  tears," the poet offers a credo, as well as an invitation to appreciate the fluid boundaries between art and truth, memory and myth. 

In these poems, the lines blur and become something more. In one scene, Lage describes swimming where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico in a way that  is fabulist, almost surreal, when she writes "Clasping hands, / we jumped into velvet  covers and became saltwater.” And this is her gift, a sensibility that tackles expansive  themes in terms both personal and archetypal. Every glance backward begins as remembrance, leads to reflection and ends in a resolution – the commitment to elevate  what is ordinary into art. Thus, when Lage writes, “I'll try to make my remaining years sound like a folk song,” she leaves us with a promise already fulfilled.

- Andy Brown, Publisher of Scrawl Place

Kelli Lage's "I'm Glad We Did This" has a way of transporting the reader to moments where they can confidently say "That's me!" as she vulnerably connects the reader to scenes from her life. Lage's illustrative way of writing is enough to make the reader smiler through her words as they are comforted by nostalgia and hope to the very end.

- Shonette Reed, Resolute Magazine

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