As much as I can take issue with social media sometimes, it has allowed me to meet and connect with so many incredible people. Many of these new friends are doing such impressive and exciting things. Edher in Peru reached out to me for the Cinnamon Traveler Chats, and Gyovanna (who currently lives in Germany) invited me to be on her podcast, Life’s A Trip. This was my first podcast experience! I’ll admit I was nervous, but Gyovanna and I had so much fun and could’ve talked forever. We actually ended up continuing our convo another hour after we stopped recording!
We covered solo travel and traveling as a woman, of course, but also dove deeper into mental health (not only anxiety and depression, but also excoriation disorder/dermatillomania), the story of how I got my pacemaker, and even poetry. You can listen to the episode here on Spotify. or wherever you get your podcasts.
This was the first time I’ve really openly discussed my BFRB (body-focused repetitive behavior) and though I felt so vulnerable, I wanted to share my story with others in hopes that either 1.) it resonates with someone else who is also struggling and/or 2.) it shines a light on these disorders so that others can understand them, which will only help remove the stigma that surrounds them.
I can’t thank her enough for having me, and hope you’ll tune in. She always has wonderful guests on, covering all types of interesting topics. And the name “Life’s A Trip” couldn’t be more spot on this year, can it?
Can’t wait to hear what you think,
P.S. To anyone wanting to understand more about dermatillomania, I cannot recommend this Ted talk by Liz Atkin enough: https://youtu.be/mlt3o6dnGqA
This is actually how I found out that skin picking had a name! Also, there are tons of different BFRBs, and resources/websites for them. Here are some favorites of mine:
I was blessed to bring this beauty into the world recently. My friends, colleagues, and family helped me celebrate my second chapbook, The Shedding Before the Swell, at The Glitterbox Theater on December 8th.
Poets/friends Dan Shapiro, Ava C. Cipri, Charlie Brice, and Amy Lee Heinlen gave beautiful readings and introductions.
“Kara’s poems can take us just to the edge, teetering on the brink, through a mastery of the senses and an unapologetic voice she transforms the ordinary into unnerving and unexpected landscapes. Sometimes I feel as if she leads, but mostly I feel she asks us to walk alongside her, and look into the abyss, and name our hunger. “—Ava C. Cipri, author of Leaving The Burdened Ground
We had books for sale (of course) and a signing party after the reading with wine and sweet treats made from my best friend, Holly.
I’m so grateful for everyone that came out to help celebrate this book with me.
(And to Catherine, who captured the beautiful photo below of my parents looking on!)
One of my most personal poems, and a feature, are live at Ink in Thirds!
Beyond stoked to announce that my second chapbook, The Shedding Before the Swell, is now available from Dancing Girl Press!
So grateful and happy to have Ashvin Harrison‘s beautiful work gracing the cover.
Stay tuned for the date and details of the launch party!
Not many people know this, but I started graduate school for my MFA in January.
I am still working full time, but I decided that this goal was one I seriously wanted to accomplish for myself and to push myself academically and personally, to become a better writer.
My motto for this new year has been to just go for it, and that’s what I am doing. The residency proved to me that I made the right decision. Never in my life did I connect so quickly to my peers and mentors. I felt like even though I only met these people ten days ago, it felt like we had been friends for a lifetime! I was surrounded by the most brilliant writers, and the energy was contagious. All in all, it was the single most overwhelming (but in the best way) thing I had ever experienced.
And now, the real work of practicum begins. For those of you who are or have previously been in grad school, especially a low residency program, what advice would you give?
Delighted to be a part of the 2017 Beaver County Book Festival, which will take place Saturday, September 9th in Beaver, PA.
On Friday, I will serve on a panel of women writers with authors Linda Au, Wende Dikec, Pamela Hart Vines, and Madhu B. Wangu for the Opening Night.
A Q&A session and book signing will follow. Tickets include access to the event and delectable food, so get yours today and join us for what is sure to be an exciting and unforgettable weekend!
See you there,
One day before my 27th birthday, I celebrated the release of my first chapbook, Next to Everything that is Breakable (Finishing Line Press 2017) at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Over 50 of my friends, family, and colleagues came out to support me as I launched this chapbook into the world.
The author & the artist.
Books were for sale, as well as artwork by my dear friend Catherine (who also took the photograph on the cover of the book).
Catherine’s creations with my poems.
Around 2:30 p.m., people arrived to mingle and get refreshments. Shortly after 3 p.m. my mentor, Tess, welcomed the audience and introduced me.
Tess & I.
I became overcome with emotion as I looked around the room and thanked those that had helped me so much, for I knew without them this endeavor would not have been possible.
After the reading, I signed copies of books and spent precious, too-short moments with the guests- even my high school English teachers came!
It was an intense whirlwind of an event, but I’m thankful for how smoothly it went. Seeing the people I love come together to show their support for my passion was the highlight of my birthday weekend.
Check out some pictures below:
P.S. For those that were unable to make it to the launch party but would like a signed copy of the book, please message me!
The guest book!
Beyond excited to announce that my chapbook, Next to Everything that is Breakable, is now officially available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. Check it out at the link below!
Pre-order the chapbook by clicking here.
Still in disbelief that this is happening, but I’m thrilled to announce my manuscript was recently accepted for publication! To those that supported me, believed in me, and most of all, who pushed me: I am indebted to you. This has been my dream. How do I even put it all into words…
Details will be announced soon!