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About this poet

kari edwards was born in Illinois in 1954 and raised in Westfield, New York. After studying sculpture in school, edwards taught in the art department at Denver University, and went on to receive an MA in psychology and an MFA in writing and poetics from the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

At Naropa, edwards met Frances Blau, and the two became lifelong partners. After graduating in 2000, edwards and Blau moved to San Fransisco, where edwards became active in the local poetry and transgender communities. edwards also launched a blog, Transdada, and remained committed to social justice and queer activism.

edwards wrote several poetry collections, including post/(pink) (Scarlet Press, 2000), a diary of lies (Belladonna Books, 2002), a day in the life of p. (Subpress Collective, 2002), obedience (Factory School, 2005), have been blue for charity (BlazeVox, 2006), and Bharat jiva (Belladonna Books), which was released posthumously in 2009.

Friend and poet Rob Halpern notes, “kari made limitless demands on our responsibility to respond to all forms of injustice, from the violence against trans-folk, to the injustice of language itself….kari knew that we need to use language radically and innovatively in order to overcome that violence, hence her faithfulness to the likes of Gertrude Stein, as well as Dada.”

edwards won the New Langton Arts Bay Area Award in literature in 2002, and Small Press Traffic’s Book of the Year Award in 2004. edwards died of a pulmonary embolism on December 2, 2006, at the age of fifty-four.
 


Selected Bibliography

succubus in my pocket (EOAGH Books, 2015)
Bharat jiva (Belladonna Books, 2009)
have been blue for charity (BlazeVox, 2006)
obedience (Factory School, 2005)
iduna (O Books, 2003)
a day in the life of p. (subpress collective, 2002)
a diary of lies (Belladonna Books, 2002)
obLiqUE paRt(itON): colLABorationS (xPress(ed), 2002)
post/(pink) (Scarlet Press, 2000)

[exchanging water for wealth]

will I always stare into the darkness of those who wait in deadened familiar, not suitable for the main course; gone up in flames, done up in toxic blossom, 99.9% similar, alone facing inquisitional preconditions for normal?

a billion miles away, I burn, we all burn, the ice melts, the multiindustrial playhouse brings more boom boom to the local meat market.

almost underground, next to preservation first, down the corridor to a crypt like, discarded, hopeless outdated metal file cabinet, locked in a room, waiting for benediction, new icons for teeth.

somewhere someone says, chemistry for the future. somewhere someone says there is never enough mesmerizing heads, dieting on crystalline traditions, exchanging water for wealth.

Copyright © 2016 by kari edwards. Used with permission of Frances Blau.

Copyright © 2016 by kari edwards. Used with permission of Frances Blau.

kari edwards

kari edwards

Known for her work as a gender activist, kari edwards published several books, including the posthumous poetry collections Bharat jiva (Belladonna Books, 2009) and succubus in my pocket (EOAGH Books, 2015).

by this poet

poem

substituting one day for the next remaining attempt to emerge from the next gesture skip deity made entirely of language, to the next instant justification graveyard, like content, like everything else, like a given epic, like another battle dream beach distance, another metaphor without preemptive assumptions.

poem

there by the trees
     clarified remains left abandoned
in anonymous language venues
    knowing only numb to rule
able to play with knives and forks
    I am puzzled by an exit
requiring eye hand coordination
    installed on paper thin masonry
composed of random

poem

un-shaken, moving un-restricted through the blank season, counting the dead, counting the days, counting heart beats, back to worms, back to dustvback to this un-necessary burden, sometimes in terror, sometimes a reversal crushed beneath another categorical persistence, another dream