Kinsley Stocum is my spirit animal.
I met Kinsley in a poetry class in the English Department at Missouri State University and fell in love with her right then and there. She wrote honest, intriguing poetry that blended her exploration of sexuality and humanity with hypothetical events or situations and real-life moments. They were beautiful, thought provoking poems and it wasn’t long before I had developed a full force lady crush on her.
I can’t exactly remember when we started becoming close but I’m so glad we have. Kinsley lives in Pittsburgh, PA which is exactly 816.3 miles too far from me. Lucky for me, Kinsley’s family lives in Missouri so she’s still obligated to come visit over long holidays and that means at least two full days of the kind of release and freedom you only feel with a best friend.
You might remember Kinsley from a swimsuit shoot we did at the beginning of last summer. Part of what makes those photos so fierce and amazing is how naturally she moves in front of the camera. Kinsley is a photographer and has always been fashionable. She’s one of those people that naturally slips into character no matter what atmosphere she’s in and performs impeccably. Plus, she lets us dress her in whatever we want and somehow makes it look amazing!
Who else can pull of a seriously dated purple and gold romper? Nobody. Nobody but Kinsley.
Now listen. This woman is a powerhouse. She’s a photographer, a model, and someday soon the star of a show that will combine New Girl and Girls and blow everyone else right out of the water. She’s also an extremely talented artist. She’s designed the book covers for various authors including the cover for Brian Swann’s St. Francis and the Flies, Alison Taverna’s What Hollywood Taught Me, and D. Gilson’s On Faggot. She’s also the Poetry Editor for IDK Magazine, currently set to release its third issue this fall.
You can read her work in Moon City Review, Elder Mountain: A Journal of Ozarks Studies, Weave Magazine, Paddle Shots: A River Pretty Anthology Vol. 1, Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed, and Goddessmode: A Collection of Videogame Writing by Women and Non-Binary Artists.
Kinsley also worked on chapbooks for the Words Without Walls Program. Words Without Walls is a creative partnership between the Chatham MFA Creative Writing Program, the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ), State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh (SCI Pgh), and Sojourner House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for mothers and their children.
You can see why I’m so obsessed.
Yes she’s amazing. Yes she’s insanely talented and creative and stunning. She’s the person who will entertain my crazy ideas about moving across the country to live in Reno, taking up jobs at casinos, and getting old together in “The Biggest Little City in the World”. She’s the one who’ll stand at the front of the concert with me and leave her half eaten hot dog on the stage so we can dance our butts off. She’s the one who will stay in for late night Skype sessions with me so we can vent about jobs and life and guys and girls and bosses and dreams.
I completely believe in her ability to succeed and am constantly inspired by her drive and strength. Here’s hoping the world brings us closer together one of these days.