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2015 NAAP* Gradiva Award Winner for Best Poetry Publication!


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of the Two Rivers Zen Community

“The meters are strong and the pain wincing. I hear echoes of Celtic battle songs . . . also the drum of Dharani, the Buddhist chants proclaiming our connection to ancient lineages and all suffering beings.”

~From the Foreword by Mark Finn.

“In these poems Karen Morris makes it her job to visit the underworld, the one happening right in our midst, embedded in the current world. Remember, in reading her poems, what Einstein once poignantly said: ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it'”

~From the preface by John Fox, author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making.

“These poems combine a depth of philosophical underpinning with a flight of words, touch the heart and mind and are simply beautiful.  They read with the fluidity, vividness and unbounded quality of a dream.”  

~Beth Jacobs, author of  Paper Sky: What Happened After Anne Frank’s Diary Ended

“Kagayaki Karen Morris received the 2015 Gradiva Award for Poetry, awarded by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP), for this emotionally stunning volume of poetry; the award indeed is well deserved. As the title indicates, the volume is composed of two parts, “Cataclysm” and “Other Arrangements” that suggest Morris’s topics and concerns, particularly trauma. She writes movingly and evocatively of physical and emotional trauma, sexism, domestic violence, child abuse, sex trafficking, political oppression, war, and more…

Of great interest is Morris’s “Afterword,” an essay that literally is an afterword, following the poetry and offering background and context for the poems. The essay itself is prose, but imbued with poetry because Morris is a consummate poet, even when writing prose…

Morris’s moral and ethical concerns are matched by her impeccable ear. Her poetry sings. The themes at times are dark, but the poetry radiates music…”

~ Merle Molofsky, Psychoanalytic Review

From the Afterword: 

“The reality of this world is the concern for many of these poems, one of

the few recourses I have to send out my alarm for what is happening to the

women, young girls and boys of this world, entrapped within the commercial

sex industry and slave-driven economies which have become social norms

throughout the world, supported by demand and addiction, fueled by the

three poisons at the hub of the wheel of life and death: anger, greed and

ignorance. And what of the men, the buyers of sex with children, whose

ignorance, violence, greed and demand for victims drive these economies?

Many of these poems reflect my involvement in the study of these issues and

my commitment to public education as well as the education of professionals

in my field, with concern for prevention, saving and restoring lives.”

~Kagayaki Karen Morris

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