Jen Karetnick is the author of four full-length poetry collections, including The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of Virginia Book Prize, and The Burning Where Breath Used to Be (David Robert Books, 2020). The winner of the 2017 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2016 Romeo Lemay Poetry Prize, and the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize, she is also the author of four other poetry chapbooks, including Bud Break at Mango House, winner of the 2008 Portlandia Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, JAMA, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, Ovenbird, Salamander, and Tampa Review. She is co-founder/co-editor of the daily online literary journal, SWWIM Every Day. Jen received an MFA in poetry from University of California, Irvine, and an MFA in fiction from University of Miami. She works as the dining critic for MIAMI Magazine and as a freelance writer and trade book author. Her fourth cookbook, Ice Cube Tray Recipes: 75 Easy and Creative Kitchen Hacks for Freezing, Cooking, and Baking with Ice Cube Trays (Skyhorse Publishing), is forthcoming May 2019.
Find her on Twitter @Kavetchnik or see https://jkaretnick.com.
About The Crossing Over
The winner of the 2018 Split Rock Review Chapbook Competition, The Crossing Over is 21 consecutive poems about the migrant experience in the Mediterranean, narrated from the boat’s point of view. It begins with the crafting of the vehicle – the birth of its voice – and ends with its destruction. As much participant as it is victim, the boat is the lens through which the reader sees all that happens to the refugees: smuggling, hunger and thirst, rape, drowning, labor in open international waters, terrorism, organ stealing, deportation, and repatriation – and, for some, survival in a new country.
Poems in The Crossing Over were included or are forthcoming in literary magazines such as Construction, The Evansville Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, One, and Salamander, and have won or been nominated for awards such as ICON’s Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, Brittany Noakes Competition, Locked Horn Press Poetry Prize, Headway Quarterly Writing Contest, and Best of the Net.
Praise for The Crossing Over
About The Crossing Over, poet M.B. McLatchey, author of the prize-winning collection, The Lame God, writes, “This book is our most awaited guide for understanding what it means to be human among humans – or as the poet says, for learning the rites for search and rescue. As she says in ‘Internment’: ‘Before the cleansing of all that is corporeal, the rites for search and rescue.’ And, in order to command this search, Karetnick, like the most masterful of guides and poets, is willing to lead us and to look where most of us cannot. For this book, for this guide, this poet, we are right to be grateful.’”
Award-winning poet Denise Duhamel writes, “Boat as metaphor for what we carry. Boat as vessel (woman), boat as adventure (man and conquest). Boat as witness to abominations that befall immigrants and refugees. Boat lost at sea, “a brief dream the ocean/once had”—as we all are sometimes lost. Boat as death, driven by Charon. Jen Karetnick’s The Crossing Over is a political, moral journey, a tour de force built by sonnets, lists, a ghazal, a concrete poem, a pantoum, and literary magic.”