Speech of the Masquerade
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More About This Title Speech of the Masquerade


Speech of the Masquerade is a collection of poetry unmasking the rawness of human emotions. The collection deals with issues which hit close to home and are close to the heart. Speech of the Masquerade is about voicing our stories, unveiling our beautiful souls, and unmasking ourselves so that the world can see who we are and how we feel.


Kendall Driscoll is a music education major enrolled at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She is an active spoken word poet in both South Carolina and Georgia, performing at local open mics and poetry events.

Driscoll is the 2010, 2012, and 2013 Poetry Matters Celebration winner and has published poetry in both the Poetry Matters Anthology and Poetry Diversified. Her work has also been published in Furman University’s literary magazine, The Echo.
In addition to writing poetry, Driscoll has written three novels for the month-long novel writing challenge, National Novel Writing Month. When she’s not writing, she performs actively on the flute with Furman’s Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra.


Introduction xi
Speech of the Artist
Speech of the Masquerade 3 True Inspirations 6 True Art 9 Ode to the Color Green 11 All I Seek 13 Loopholes in the Future 15 What Writing Can Do 17 Writing Reflections 19
Speech of Love
Would You Write Me a Poem? 23 What I’m Trying To Say 25 Love Is 28 Winter’s Kiss 30 Maybe 33 There Are Nights 35 Things Fall Apart...No, Love Falls Apart 37 Love Letters 40 If I Got Hit by a Bus on Prom Night 42 Gifting Love 44 I Love You Like a Song 46 Get Me Some Flowers 48
Speech of Life
The Destination of Procrastination 53 What Didn’t Make the Résumé 56 I Don’t Want to Go Home 59 Dear Dad 61 The Color of Tears 63 Just Listen 66 Give Me a Reason 67 You Are a Beauty 68 Barking Mad 70 Envious 72 Life’s Ifs 75 Awaken 77 Pity to the Poor 79 Confessions of a Middle-Aged Insomniac 81 Such Weight 84 He Left Me When I Needed Him Most:
Eulogy for a Coffee Maker 87 An Elegiac Reverie 89


Praise For Speech of the Masquerade:

Speech of the Masquerade is by turns melodramatic, playful, and angst-ridden, and should be required reading for parents and teachers who may have forgotten how it feels to be a teen in turmoil. Kendall Driscoll is the contemplative voice of the Millennials.

J.C. Elkin, author of World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom

“Although Speech of the Masquerade seems to grow out of the world of performance poetry, it has roots that extend to the work of Gwendolyn Brooks and Walt Whitman. Kendall Driscoll is a young poet with lots of emotional energy, alternately compassionate and playful, whose subjects range from​ love to procrastination, clarinetists to coffee makers, Mozart to Lady Gaga.”

Dr. Gilbert Allen, author of Catma

“In these empathetic poems, Kendall Driscoll explores the messy, perilous, rewarding relationships that tie humans together. Her eye for detail--pop culture, high art, weather, place--draws the reader into these expertly-drawn scenes. Speech of the Masquerade is a big-hearted book with a wry sense of humor. Read it! You'll thank your lucky stars that you did.”

Joni Tevis, author of The Wet Collection

Whether she's ribbing on resume-builders, writing mock-eulogies to defunct coffee machines, or challenging others to gather the courage to live honestly, Kendall's voice reverberates with beauty and truth, which according to some poets, are the same thing.
Derek Berry author of Skinny Dipping With Strangers
“Diverse in scope and broad in range, the poems in Driscoll’s impressive debut collection are detailed geographies of the human heart. From laughter to heartbreak, from iPod playlists to violin solos, there is much here to discover and to love.”

Dr. Andrew Geyer, author of A Shared Voice