Kaighla Rises

is the Pushcart Prize nominee and Ampersand Award-winning author of Evryn, The Light, as well as her poetry collection, wellspring. She is also the author of Things That Shattera memoir of survival and resilience, published under the pen name Kaighla Um Dayo.

The Books

Evryn, the Light

Winner of the 2023 Ampersand Award for Prose,

On the tiny island of Kenozaria, women are in charge. Evryn Korina—the chief's eldest daughter—is not what her mother hoped she would become. But when a new, formidable enemy threatens to annihilate her people, her culture, and her homeland, Evryn must choose between staying in her mother's shadow or embracing her latent power. With the help of an unlikely ally and the guidance of her ancestors, Evryn must learn to connect with her intuition and her fellow women to harness her inner strength and save her people.


wellspring is a poetic journey following Kaighla’s quest to reconnect with her own internal source of joy, peace, and purpose. As she leads us through her divorce, grief, rebound, and recovery process, she shows readers how to empower themselves to find their own wellsprings of hope and meaning.

Things That Shatter

Winner of the 2019 Daybreak Press Book Award for Best Non-fiction Biography/MemoirThings That Shatter is a "superbly written... honest, gritty... page-turner…”

Live Poetry Reading

Kaighla performed her original spoken-word piece, “Chloe & Marlboros” at Danville’s Got Talent, in Danville, Illinois, at the Historic Fischer Theatre, on March 3rd, 2023.


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© 2023 Kaighla Rises