About

Welcome to my website. People often say, write about what you know. I say, write about what you want to learn, and bring others on the journey with you. The same goes for any creation. We need to extend beyond ourselves to be ourselves, and invite others to accompany us.

My interests are always expanding. Currently, I am focusing on writing fiction and full-length poetry collections, as I continue learning about marathon swimming, artisan soap-making, equestrian pursuits–and always, poetry.

our own beautiful brutality

My poetry chapbook OUR OWN BEAUTIFUL BRUTALITY is available now, published in July 2021!

In poems both brutal and beautiful, Karen Poppy traces the interconnectedness—symbiotic, antagonistic, and metaphorical—of the endangered antelope and human worlds. All the grace and violence of both worlds is here in poems that are moving, necessary, and ultimately life-affirming. I could not put down this powerful book.

–Steve Bellin-Oka, author of Instructions for Seeing a Ghost

Poppy is a poet of the 21st Century. Her pen is compelling, pointing out the crucial need for human, animal, and environmental rights and respect. Her poems inspire transformation.  

–Lynne Cox, American long-distance open-water swimmer, New York Times best-selling author, and speaker

This glowing collection of Karen Poppy‘s verses read as at once spare and abundant, elegant and generous. Her poems align with the other, even the inhuman, and then brings them into the fold of their visionary compassion. Her lines stretch and shrink, experimenting with a wide range of forms, and her best rhymes read like plot twists.  our own beautiful brutality asks what all readers and writers ask each other across the resonance of words: “how in sudden shift did I become you?”

–Betsy Cornwell Lyons, New York Times best-selling author and founder of The Old Knitting Factory: making space for single moms to make art in a 1906 knitting school in Connemara

Every Possible Thing

My poetry chapbook EVERY POSSIBLE THING is available, published in 2020.

In Every Possible Thing, Karen Poppy’s imagery soars and her unique vision leads us into a world of literary allusions, of life’s glory, of the earth, of water and waves, of suicide and the harshness of life and death. Exquisitely written, with attention to the smallest detail, to the vastness of mythology, these elegant poems compel the reader to turn the page in order to be richly rewarded by these tender pieces.

Virginia Chase Sutton, winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize for her book What Brings You to Del Amo.

Every Possible Thing is as expansive a collection as its title suggests—the poems within it reach toward infinity even as they explore the heartache of mortality. Karen Poppy is both observant and visionary, crafting her tender, wise poems with a wide open heart, wide open eyes.

Gayle Brandeis won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change with her novel The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins). She is the author of several books of poetry and prose.

Crack Open/Emergency

My poetry chapbook CRACK OPEN/EMERGENCY is also available, published in 2020.

Although the language of Karen Poppy’s poetry is beautifully lyric and classical pure, she wants us to attend to her silences—the spaces between words, between lines, between stanzas and poems. A lawyer, she knows how cruelly words can be divided against themselves, that one can become “ashamed that you did not believe less” in them. But her silence is indisputable and clear. It fills us with “noiseless ecstasy.”

–David Bergman, author of poetry titles including Fortunate Light (A Midsummer Night’s Press), Heroic Measures (Ohio State University Press), The Care and Treatment of Pain (Kairos Editions), and Cracking the Code (George Elliston Poetry Prize), and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for his anthology Men on Men 2000.

Karen Poppy‘s poems are lush, lustrous and defined, all at once. One can taste the pebble in the mouth that confronts Goliath, smell the blood stains of post mortem life. These are poems that excite, reveal and inspire, charging us with electric appreciation. What an amazing collection.

–Rene Denfeld, internationally bestselling author of the novels The Child FinderThe Enchanted, and The Butterfly Girl, and winner of the prestigious French Prix award.

Please contact me at poppy.karen@gmail.com. Please note that all content on this website is copyright protected, including the photographs.