Karen Braucher

The Poetry of Karen Braucher
by J. Zimmerman

Books by Karen Braucher: * Aqua Curves. * Mermaid Café. * Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances.

For more poetry samples, visit the Karen Braucher's NEW! website: http://www.karenbraucher.com.

Aqua Curves is available from
the author, Karen Braucher.
E-mail her: braucher@portlandia.com.
Also available in Oregon at:
(1) Annie Bloom's in Multnomah Village, SW Portland, Oregon. It's a great independent bookstore; please support it.
(2) EKAHNI Gallery & Books in Wheeler, Oregon, on the northern Oregon Coast.

Aqua Curves by Karen Braucher.

Aqua Curves is beautiful. I love the curvy breaking wave on the front cover, and the presentation of the names of the book and the author in the same color of aqua as the wave.

The back cover has a photo (also in aqua) of an intriguing statue of a mermaid. The whole outside of the book is very coherent and satisfying. Book and cover design is by Tommy Herrmann, who deserved enthusiastic praise.

Within the book, the curvy table of contents is a delight. Skimming it, one sees not only many new treats but also many poems seen or heard before, known and admired.

Aqua Curves won the 2004 Stevens Manuscript Competition for a poetry manuscript, judged by poet and fiction writer Peter Meinke. It contains some poems from her chapbook Mermaid Café, (Pudding House, 2004) as well as others. It's available from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (www.nfsps.com) or directly from Karen Braucher ($15 via e-mail contact braucher@portlandia.com).

Among my favorite poems of Aqua Curves:

As Ms. Braucher says, her book was, 'Inspired by the ocean and female themes' and 'abounds with mermaids, seafood, wit, and humor.'

Mermaid Café from Puddinghouse Press.

Karen Braucher's chapbook Mermaid Café from Puddinghouse Press (2004), is a celebration of mermaid tales and tails, and of escape and return.

It includes another of my favorites, the delightful How to Stay Married (first published in "Manzanita Quarterly" (Autumn 2002)):

 The perfect marriage is, they say,
 a blind woman married to a deaf man. 
 Or is it a deaf woman married to
 a blind man? Failing to achieve
 these physical variations,
 it is helpful to think
 of marriage as ocean waves - 
 After a while, you must be
 a boat, or parts of a boat -
 yesterday the rusty scupper,
 today gunwales, tomorrow ballast
 and bailing buckets.You must 
 be a motor, a sail, a paddle.
 It's helpful to enjoy the view.
 It's helpful not to think
 about the lack of life preservers.

Copyright © 2005 by Karen Braucher.

Blog entry for Mermaid Café.

Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances (2000) by Karen Braucher.

Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances is a collection of narrative and lyrical poems about a generous life and the adoption of a Chinese baby girl. Among my favorites are Inside the Water (p.59), Beginning Mandarin (p.63), and the brilliant Economics (pp.12-13), which is also the source of the book's title:

 I understand money, the trading
 of a symbol for energy between
 people, but time I don't comprehend
 any better than my husband's love
 for radio antennas or my need to study 

 ... Each hour
 I spend working to make money

 is worth two hours, the hour I spend
 and the hour I lost smelling lilacs,
 Only love makes time not equal
 money. I quit work, go to my
 husband hunches over his
 transmitter. He shouts, "Yankee Zulu!", 
 international phonetics, over the
 airwaves. "I'm a Yankee Zulu too,"
 I say. He adjusts my buttons, begins
 protocol: "Let's send messages
 over inconceivable distances."

Copyright © 2005 by Karen Braucher.

Autographed copy! You can get your very own copy with the poet's autograph if you contact Karen Braucher (braucher@portlandia.com).

Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances is available directly from the publisher, The Bacchae Press. For an order form, more information about the book, and another poem ("First Chinese New Year"), check this web site: www.bcpl.lib.md.us/~tross/braucher/hninfo.html.

For more poetry samples, visit the author's NEW! website: http://www.karenbraucher.com.

Blog entry for Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances.

Portlandia Chapbook competition

Chapbook comparisons of winner's at Karen Braucher's Portlandia Press annual competition:
* Portlandia Chapbooks.
* 2006 winner of Portlandia Chapbooks contest: When, by the Titanic (John Pursley III). Blog entry for When, by the Titanic.
* 2004 winner of Portlandia Chapbooks contest: Why I Kick At Night (Ron Drummond).
* 2002 winner of Portlandia Chapbooks contest: Five-hundred Widowers in a Field of Chamomile (John Surowiecki).

Links and Books.

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