Kettle Whistles the Blues | Written by Kayla Pongrac & Illustrated by J.P. Baroni

Kettle Whistles the Blues | Written by Kayla Pongrac & Illustrated by J.P. Baroni



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paper, ink, binding



Under the disguise of providing instructions for brewing tea, Kettle Whistles the Blues is really a meditation on solitude and the existential ruminations that accompany solitude. The narrator is a young woman who is torn between the familiar past and an uncertain future as she moves more deeply into adulthood. She is conflicted about the peace of solitude and the kind of aching loneliness that only a shelter dog would understand. In spare, precise language, and with flowing illustrations by J.P. Baroni, Kettle Whistles the Blues uses the tea-making process to highlight epiphanies often found in the mundane.


With this delicate voice steeped in tea rituals, Kayla Pongrac offers proof that a tiptoe's tread can be louder than a stomp.

-Alina Stefanescu, author of Objects in Vases

Kettle Whistles the Blues is a study of melancholy. Yet, driven by Kayla Pongrac’s minimalistic, captivating tone and J.P. Baroni’s loose, inviting sketches, Kettle hints at the benefits of quietude too often overlooked or dismissed by our culture at large. Pongrac affirms that to be alone is not always to be lonely—that to “sip and enjoy” a simple cup of tea is to do more than meets the eye. It is a defense of unhurried contemplation, and of the examined life.

–Catherine Kyle, author of Feral Domesticity and Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem

In Kettle Whistles the Blues, Kayla Pongrac describes the solitary ritual of drinking tea alone. The book’s eleven short texts, referred to as “steps” rather than poems, offer a formula for solitude: the perfect recipe for loneliness. Pongrac does not reveal whether her protagonist’s loneliness is voluntary, and this is what gives Kettle Whistles the Blues its mysterious charm. It can be read as an ode, a wish, a protest, or a sigh.

–Nadia de Vries, author of First Communion and R.I.P. Nadia de Vries

5" x 8"
24 pages
$11.99, includes shipping and handling within the U.S.


Whether she's making it or looking at it, J.P. Baroni has always loved art, even from an early age. When she's not busy making art for clients or printing shirts, she enjoys spending time with her three children and husband. When time allows, her nose is stuck in a book or her head is out in space.

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her first chapbook, a collection of flash fiction stories titled The Flexible Truth, is available for purchase from Anchor and Plume. To read more of Kayla’s work, visit or follow her on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.

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5 shop reviews 0 out of 5 stars


ecjarvis1 Apr 29, 2019

5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding! Hilarious and thoughtfully done. I'm buying copies for friends, because it's so good!

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Reviewed by Anonymous Aug 6, 2013

5 out of 5 stars

My bookmark arrived Very quickly! I love it. I'll be using it straightaway, I'm always losing track of bookmarks and using receipts or old envelopes :) Thanks very much.

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Catherine Kyle Dec 10, 2013

5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful and soulful writing from an indie press.

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birdsoflace Apr 24, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

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