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Deborah Russell

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Member Since: Jun, 2002

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Poetry Reading
2/24/2006 4:35:12 AM

Karen Garthe...

Frayed Escort...

Frayed Escort, a book of poems by Karen Garthe, won the Colorado Prize for poetry, 2005. I attended the reading, last night, to meet "the competition".

Mary Crow, Colorado's Poet Laureate, was there as well as Dona Stein, and it is always a pleasure to see Dona. She has a wonderful outlook - vital and has  a warm, generous manner and approach to conversation.

I wasn't impressed with the poetry or Karen's reading, for that matter. It wasn't because, for the first two poems, the mic was too low for Karen.

It was, well, Karen. I found it difficult to follow something that pretends to be intellectual and is read in such a mundane and monotonal voice.

She was hardly animated and that gave the impression she wasn't even interested in her own work.

Several people stated that even with the mic, they had a hard time hearing and following her work, so thank god it wasn't just me, being my crotchety self.
I purchased her book because I like using poems as a jump off point for my own work. I would like to say I purchased Frayed Escort, to support the arts or because I admire her work, or any other complimentary thing, but the truth is her work isn't that impressive and I had to dig for phases that struck a chord for me.

I won't say Karen Garthe's work is bad or not worth reading, but it isn't my particular cup of tea.

A few of her phrases are worth mentioning like, "Bible footed", which holds my attention and puzzels me, at the same time.

Karen told a story of how she wrote a particular poem, Rebbeca's Vase, which, in my opinion, is the best poem in her book, where she went through one of her favorite books, highlighted words, listed them in her computer, printed and cut the words out and tossed them in the air, (funny, that reminds me of my poem, The Poet, from 2000.) and proceeded to select words for her poem.

Well, I suppose that could be something like finding cosmos in chaos...or maybe there is a greater, poetic design? Maybe the reason Rebecca's Vase, is so good is because the author had very little to do with the actual poem?


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More Blogs by Deborah Russell
• New Works - Monday, October 23, 2006
• Under Construction... - Sunday, October 22, 2006
• Fall Poetry Series - Loveland Art Museum - Friday, October 13, 2006
• In the news...9/28/2006 - Thursday, September 28, 2006
• Hello Colorado - Monday, April 24, 2006
• A Workforce update... - Monday, March 20, 2006
• Loveland Art Museum - Thursday, March 02, 2006
• Job Workforce - Saturday, February 25, 2006
• Reading Romanticos... - Friday, February 24, 2006
•  Poetry Reading - Friday, February 24, 2006  

• State of the Union - Wednesday, February 22, 2006
• Poetry Across the Water... - Sunday, January 29, 2006
• Two Eggs, Separated... - Tuesday, January 17, 2006
• What Makes A Man Sexy? - Thursday, January 12, 2006
• Upcoming Art Exhibits - Thursday, December 22, 2005
• Roots Of The Tree - Tuesday, December 20, 2005
• A Crowded Paradise... - Wednesday, December 14, 2005
• 2D or Not 2D - Sunday, December 11, 2005
• The Not Quite Over You Blues... - Tuesday, December 06, 2005
• Bones of Your Ancestors - Monday, December 05, 2005
• Cheerleaders In The Workforce? - Monday, November 28, 2005
• Biking in Colorado - Saturday, October 29, 2005
• The Latest... - Friday, October 28, 2005
• Poet??? Did you say, Poet? - Wednesday, September 07, 2005