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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)

[stories from across the ocean]

the broken pleasure of knives begin, weaves incompressible
intrusion on inescapable spreadsheets

I have a death watch count down, termination amongst the
swell of three-quarter fools who dance reptilian obedience

do not raise above the star’s subtle shades of lowered eyes
that shuffle into place

the flowers brown and wilt. the street turns gray. no sound is
possible in this counterfeit circus, only the faintest groan labors
out of something, like an organ swollen from so much marching.

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

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

poem

again, playing with fire
unpleasant reminders burnt away
fumed extreme flat
again, playing
hollowed out body
boundaries left wall'd
status stand-ins
in cement house
where concrete slogans
armed with body conflict
expunge paradise
from later day subdivisions

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.