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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)

from obedience [maybe one day, during a point in time]

maybe one day, during a point in time, without a particular point in time, without a reference, a point in time without a point, without a reference, without a connection, when someone or anyone being someone, processes a confluence of points and lines, designating nothing, processing in a process, proceeding in a connection, between a connection and an operation, and an operation and a process, connecting the process and operation to a future, between, voluntary actions and tangential beings, being one of many, doing an extended process, extending endlessly into an oncoming process, into the whole of matter at the beginning of the process, proceeding to another process, beginning with an ending and ending with a beginning, the whole of matter at the beginning without a beginning and / or an end, but an endless string of events, endlessly extending throughout the whole of matter, an operation in constant conjunction with the innumerable outside, outside walls of brute naming, or external objects bumped into doctrines of fixed limits, the discourse of lovers as a discourse of lovers, a constellation of objects, thick in layered shades, embroiled always dwellers, always close to obscure, dreaming merging lines on diverging edges, in the pleasure at midnight sharp, where action is the action taken, where the chains no longer imprison, where there is a constant period in time, that is a matter of fact, in the now, being a period in time, filling a blank now, being now being constant, with a connection to the self, being unintelligible to a definition of the disavowing now, constantly installing sediment of then now, in a make believe intelligible constant, with the nonexistent already mentioned, that has no existence, in the shallow of shadows, in the tender canopy of sorrow, wedged in the future viaducts, at the margins, in the venue of morning, in the palm of one's hand, without resistance or insult, these with a blessing and buds of beginning, in the clarity of hands, in the moment of amino, viewing motion's emergence, emerging in all actions, in all object's inner connection, an object of original connection, without origin, a universal action unrecognizable in action, that is an animal action, that is rock in action, or an object action interconnected to the sediment of all action, no sham or quilt, lost on a rock, living with the suffering universe, suffering with the living universe, on a rock in a house, as a dog or teacher, as a double locked-down disconnect, grieving in fearful hunger, immune in the misery of others, living in past present tense on the geography of cross-town traffic, scrawling daily existence in the moment of being, in the connection of being, being without a specific point in time, being cross-town traffic, or a rock in the universe.

From obedience (Factory School, 2005). Copyright © kari edwards. Used with permission of Frances Blau, literary executor.

From obedience (Factory School, 2005). Copyright © kari edwards. Used with permission of Frances Blau, literary executor.

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


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.


the day shifts, we talk to each other the way
we talk to each other, the luster fades, our
bodies fill with sap, there is a shift, joy
reappears before another personal narrative
burns to a heap of citations, continuing in
complicated machinery, becoming blood


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