Emerging BIWOC Poet Spotlight
This monthly series features poems by women of color in the early stages of their publishing careers. It is our intention to create more space at Perugia for the work of poets who are Black, Indigenous, and women of color (BIWOC). We hope using our platform to celebrate this work will expand the readership of the poets we spotlight. This series aligns with Perugia’s mission to support and promote emerging women poets; featured poems will be from poets with no more than one published full-length collection. We’d love to hear from readers with suggestions for poems & poets to feature.
November 2021 Poet: KAREN RIGBY
The New York Botanical Garden
The audio tour explains harvesting palm hearts. Outside, hoarfrost burns the lawn. I'm inside the snow-globed conservatory peering into a replica hut: hammock slung from a beam, mortar and pestle stationed on the floor. Placards label everything like a crime. Tell me something new about the manicole acreage. A human organ salvaged from the wreck, my own heart tinned.
Chinoiserie, Ahsahta Press, 2012
Karen Rigby was born in the Republic of Panama in 1979. Her debut poetry book, Chinoiserie (Ahsahta Press, 2012), was selected by Paul Hoover for a 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize. Karen’s work has been honored by a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and a Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council artist opportunity grant. Her poetry is published in journals such as The London Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, and Australian Book Review. She’s read at venues including Rice University, Saint Vincent College, and the Tucson Festival of Books. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Minnesota, Karen freelances as a book reviewer. She lives in Arizona.