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The Burning Where Breath Used to Be, Poems by Jen Karetnick
The Burning Where Breath Used to Be by Jen Karetnick is an all-consuming trek through a distinct sensibility-nothing escapes its notice, and nothing fails to be fuel for her fires.
"Ms. Karetnick has a fascinating self. She can speak Modernese-cite Snapchat and Facebook, even use an emoji-without coming off as trying to be hip. By the same token, you don't question the scientific terms she uses from time to time because she's convinced you they're the perfect choices. If that were all, I'd admire her brilliance and stop there. But it isn't all, because she's also emotionally honest. For proof, read two of my favorite poems in the collection, 'Forward Motion Coaching' and 'Instructions for Talking to a Student About Suicide.' Furthermore, something also important to me is musicality. and she has that too. Take this from 'A Symptom of Resignation': 'Another perspective on fasciculation/ is to call it verminosis, an infection/ of parasites, because that's what the muscle/ looks like in fine, rippling tremor/ worms quicksilvering underneath the skin/ wave of soft-bodied invertebrates shockeling and davening in service to/ some kind of higher power.' Read aloud, that's fine enough wine for anyone."-Lola Haskins, author of Asylum: Improvisations on John Clare
"What I love about Jen Karetnick's poems, and particularly the poems in this book, is that each one has its own keen mind. As readers, we experience this mind witnessing, conversing, debating and reckoning with the world, or not. These poems are vital for the soul the way lungs are vital for the breath."-Elizabeth Jacobson, author of Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air
"Jen Karetnick's The Burning Where Breath Used to Be is daring, inventive and prescient. I love how poems like 'Chronic Illness Ars Poetica' and 'Hives' evoke the pleasure and labor of disability. This is a remarkable book."-Jillian Weise, author of Cyborg Detective