Priase for Outwalking the Shadow
Over the years, I have watched, with admiration, Debra Kaufman steadily and elegantly amass a body of work that brilliantly illuminates the daily minute-by-minute hazards and epiphanies of abiding in this capricious earth. With both eyes open, a capacious heart, and a lyric, contemplative voice, she graciously, courageously, ignites the moment, however flickering, however ephemeral—even harrowing—yet always worthy of her precise, shimmering language. The great Adrienne Rich wrote that “[s]ensual vitality is essential to the struggle for life.” Kaufman understands this aesthetic perfectly, as well as “the struggle.” Outwalking the Shadow is powerfully and unabashedly sensual, Kaufman at her unflinching absolute best: “one voice lifted / to the troubling, never-ending skies”—a tapestry of praise and righteous caution. What an immaculate, necessary, and beautiful book.
—Joseph Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina and author of twelve poetry collections
Outwalking the Shadow opens with a wren’s warning song and ends with the poet apologizing to the wren: “I am sorry, sorry, so so sorry, / for what you don’t know is coming.” Still, for all the dark at its heart, this collection is radiant with the lightness of a love for this world. Debra Kaufman’s poetry is clear and emotionally compelling, a lyrical search for identity and truth through pain, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.
—Judy Goldman, author of Child: A Memoir and Losing My Sister
About the author
Poet and playwright Debra Kaufman is the author of God Shattered, Delicate Thefts, The Next Moment (all from Jacar Press), and A Certain Light (Emrys Press), as well as three chapbooks. A Midwest native, she lives in central North Carolina.
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