Blogs by Deborah Russell
2/24/2006 4:35:12 AM
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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