Bookcover: Losing and Finding

Losing and Finding

vol. 11: Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

Karen Fiser — author. 
Contributors: Foreword by Lynne McMahon
  • Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 2003
Subject: Poetry

April, 2004








About Fiser's Losing and Finding

This collection of lyrical poems traces the narrative of the loss of love and intellectual powers and a groping towards a new life after a catastrophic illness. The poems describe suffering and the sudden loss of one’s prior life and powers, but they also celebrate the gifts that arise from the heart of suffering—the importance of the smallest things and the ability to pay fierce attention to them. “It might be a blessing,/ lying here, learning to see/ the light in these trees,” she writes.

“There are so many delights in this book, interpenetrated by so many losses… She keeps her eye unflinchingly on ‘the rough loving arms of this world,’ even as she is buffeted about by it.” —Lynne McMahon, Judge

“From the searing heart of pain and patience come the transporting poems of Karen Fiser. Trust them. Treasure them. These poems are resounding, important, and deeply humane.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Fuel

The Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry is awarded annually to a previously unpublished collection of poetry. The winner receives $1,000 and publication by the University of North Texas Press.

About the Author

KAREN FISER earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Virginia, an M.F.A. from Mills College, and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. After a first career as a philosophy professor, she began writing poems during the onset of a struggle with illness and disability. Her poems have appeared in seven anthologies and many journals. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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