Saturday, July 21, 2001

Karen Braucher

Featured on April 17, 1998 AND July 21, 2001

Poet Karen Braucher grew up in Massachusetts and has worked as a high-tech manager, consultant, business writer and teacher. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Masters of Education from Lesley College.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied with the late poet Richard Hugo. Her poetry won the Worcester Poetry Prize, the Grolier Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize. She was awarded a 1996 Oregon Literary Fellowship for her poetry. Her first book, Heaven's Net was the winner of the 4th Annual Bacchae Press Chapbook Contest.

If you think she's a stuffy academian, you couldn't be more wrong. Braucher is a playful writer and she's charming and funny in front of an audience.

Her new book of poetry, Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances is an exploration of her August 1992 journey to Changsha, Hunan Province, People's Republic of China. She went there to adopt a daughter who was then just eight weeks old. Braucher is donating all royalties from this book to the Foundation for Chinese Orphanages, a non-profit organization that sponsors projects in cooperation with the Chinese government to support children still living in Chinese orphanages.

Braucher is also the founding editor of The Portlandia Group, a fine poetry press that holds an annual Poetry Chapbook contest.

From her poem Travel Instructions for China:

Travel lightly
The itinerary can change at any time without notice
Your baby is liable to suffer from under-stimulation
She will be in culture shock
Your life will be permanently changed
In China, everything is difficult
But nothing is impossible
Bring coffee
Bring comfort foods
You are a woman
Travel lightly

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