If you choose to read this stunning collection — and you absolutely should — you’ll be immersed in images of the natural world so vivid and fresh that you’ll feel like you are experiencing nature’s beauty and mystery for the first time. But these poems are populated not only by snakes, bears, goats, birds, and mountains, but also by human nature — our “loves and betrayals,” our joy and regret, our gratitude and envy. The interplay between the two is at the heart of these wise and inviting poems.
—Eric Nelson, author of Horse Not Zebra
This graceful poetry transports you into the solace of Karen Jackson’s hamlet where children gather the feathers of a lace-white peacock named Monsieur and mischievous goats “huddle beside the barn as a nanny labors” then “sleep circled beneath the stars.” I urge you to savor these poems, which I found rare and lovely as a “redbird’s wing brushing my cheek.”
—Marion Starling Boyer, winner of the
2021 Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize for Ice Hours
In Karen Luke Jackson’s third book, If You ChooseTo Come, the poems offer a meditative approach to observations with lush descriptions and a musician’s ear for sonic structure. Jackson is skillful at contemplating the ordinary until we see a flash of the magical. Her book is indeed an invitation and one that I will say yes to again and again.
—Malaika King Albrecht, author of The Stumble Fields, a finalist in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Award
About the Author
Karen Luke Jackson is a story catcher who draws upon contemplative practices, oral history, and the natural world for inspiration. Whether crafting a poem or leading a retreat, she seeks out and celebrates life-giving connections.
Karen has authored two books: GRIT (Finishing Line Press, 2020), a poetry chapbook which chronicles her sister’s adventures as an award-winning clown, and The View Ever Changing (Kelsay Books, 2021), a full-length collection which explores the power of place and family ties. She has also published poems and short stories in numerous journals including Atlanta Review, Pensive, Susurrus, Friends Journal, Reckon Review, Emrys Journal, and Nobody’s Home. Earlier Karen co-edited, with Dr. Sally Z. Hare, The Story Mandala: Finding Wholeness in a Divided World.
A member of the North Carolina Writers Network and the North Carolina Poetry Society, Karen studied with Pat Riviere-Seel in the 2018 NCPS Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series. She also won the Broad River Review 2012 Rash Poetry Award and the 2017 Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition.
Karen holds a doctorate in education and is a facilitator with the Center for Courage & Renewal.Following her work at Blue Ridge Community College, she led programs and retreats for clergy, faith communities, nonprofit leaders, and higher education faculty and staff. Today her greatest joys are her grandchildren, Jackson, Kaia and Auden, and living in a cottage on a goat pasture in western North Carolina, where she companions people on their spiritual journeys.
For more information, visit www.karenlukejackson.com
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