There is a dream, a Traum, of tenderness in
little dark, and in the dream fast birds race toward death.  Loosed from memory, the truth of love hastens toward heaven on earth.  In the imaged measure of these poems, Karen Brennan indites a new remonstrance. Her protest is every petal of a rose.
Donald Revell


Brennan’s is a poetics that creates form as it rises and enters air.  But the voice of the book also sinks and enters earth.  Here the elements of a life are animated, under hypnosis and talking.  the poems, Zen-like. Like Gaudi’s open cathedral in Barcelona, they do not have ceilings or limits.  They have an articulated self (a little dark) navigating a wildly populated and open sky.
Barbara Cully



Four Way Books










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“These luminous, strikingly original poems are written out of quiet yet generous necessity.  Their grace and lucidity, their tenderness and fire, their whole heart make Here On Earth a most remarkable first book.”
–Thomas Lux

“These lyrics are forms of deliberation, thoughtful as poetry can be.  A magician is at work:  she asserts a world, possible and shifting.  The world is divided and put back together, tenderly, partially whole.”
–Steve Orlen





Wesleyan Poetry Series







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“The irrepressible Karen Brennan is upending writing again.  She’s knocked the pillars out from under our assumptions about the limits of irony and wit with one very graceful movement from comedy to tragedy.”
–Jane Miller

“Any word this remarkable writer touches seems shaken awake.”
–Mark Doty

“In Brennan’s compelling book, the determined scripts of childhood, of love, of ambition’s dreams and the fulfillment of talent are subject to abrupt and sometimes devastating revision.  The Real Enough World is a work of exceptional courage.”
–Claudia Keelen



Wesleyan Poetry Series