In this striking debut, Bernadette Karpa demonstrates the power of memory through poetry. And She Does Shine takes the reader on a compelling narrative of survivorhood by finding beauty in ordinary places.
Whether she is discovering blessings on a city street or finding solace in a difficult experience, Karpa embodies nostalgia, humor, and longing to illustrate the complexity of childhood, mixed with the incertitude of growing into oneself.
And She Does Shine is a masterful performance of hope, beauty, and resilience. This collection is a quiet, yet compelling, voice imploring us to seek out our inner spirit through everyday phenomenon.
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Distributed by: Ingrams*
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Praise for And She Does Shine
You’d think a book by someone who has survived cancer and sexual assault – capable of poems like “To the Mother of My Rapist” and “Confirming What We Didn’t Want to Know” – would be full of justified complaints against the world and the collateral damage it leaves, but Bernadette Karpa a courageous sense of humor and an abiding faith in language that lets her confront life as it is and turn it into art brave enough to be hopeful; this devotee of the Muppets and our Blessed Lady of Guadalupe asks hard questions and seeks answers in unusual places – Not in the mahogany hutch or cherry armoire, but in the broken charm bracelet whose plating has been worn through/ a pencil sharpened down to nothing. Maybe Bernadette turned to poetry, knowing that words are the most valiant of survivors; she is a visual artist with a keen eye and wonderfully quirky imagination and knows how to find the light in the darkest of places. These are poems we need; these are poems that shine.
-Christopher Bursk, author of The Improbable Swervings of Atoms
Be prepared to sit with this book. Not in the time it takes to read, but in the time it will take for your breath to return, for your heart to mend the tattered sensation that hangs heavy over such confident and honest writing, and in the time you will sit with this book in your hands, holding the words and the emotions you will be asked to heave. In her book, And She Does Shine, Bernadette Karpa escorts you through her truth, “though the truth we pick up is heavier.” This collection insists its intelligent and tenacious voice be heard, even if you need to lean in to hear some of its whisper. Karpa’s ability to draw her reader in, to trust them to her shadows is nothing short of courageous. In her poem, “I Know Why” she writes, “it frightens me to understand so completely” And that is both the burden and the gift of her writing, to understand it so completely. You will not leave these pages easily. You will keep them with you for both their fragility and heft; their sweet brilliance and their jagged edges.
~Lorraine Henrie Lins, author of All the Stars Blown to One Side of the Sky
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