Monday, June 9, 2008

Karen Chase wins Bronze IPPY
for Land of Stone

Land of Stone: Breaking Silence through Poetry (Wayne State, 2007), a nonfiction book by upstreet author Karen Chase, was named a Bronze Medal winner in the category of psychology/mental health by the judges of the 2008 Independent Publishers Book Awards (“IPPY”). The award-winning book is an account of Karen’s ten years as poet-in-residence at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, where she taught poetry writing to severely disturbed psychiatric patients. The book focuses on her work with Ben, a handsome, formerly popular and athletic young man who had given up speaking and had withdrawn from social interaction. One day a week for two years, she and Ben passed a pad of paper back and forth, taking turns writing one line of poetry each, a process that ultimately produced 180 poems.

The purpose of the IPPY Awards is to recognize the best independently published books of the past year in 64 national categories. This year’s contest drew 3,175 entries. Karen has traveled all over the country giving readings and talks about Land of Stone, which is in its second printing and has also been named a Best Book of 2007 by Chronogram.

“Karen Chase’s Land of Stone is a poignantly eloquent narrative of the therapeutic relationship between an admirably humane, gifted poet and a schizophrenic young man.”—Harold Bloom

Karen Chase’s poems have appeared in all four issues of upstreet; two poems from her newly released second poetry collection, BEAR (CavanKerry, 2008), will be included in the upcoming upstreet number four. She founded and ran the Camel River Writing Center in Lenox, MA, from 1991 to 2004. She has taught at The Frost Place and has been a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellow. Her work has appeared in the Norton anthologies, Billy Collins’s Poetry 180, The New Yorker, The Gettysburg Review, and The Yale Review. Her first book of poems, Kazimierz Square (CavanKerry, 2000), was shortlisted by ForeWord Magazine as Best Indie Poetry Book of 2000. Karen lives in Lenox with her husband, painter Paul Graubard.

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