Karen Craigo

Karen Craigo (Poetry) | Springfield, MO

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Karen Craigo is the author of the collections No More Milk (Sundress Publications, 2016) and the forthcoming Passing Through Humansville (ELJ Publications, 2017). She is also the author of two chapbooks, Someone Could Build Something Here (Winged City, 2013) and Stone for an Eye (Kent State/Wick, 2004). She blogs about writing, publishing, and creativity at betterviewofthemoon.blogspot.com, and she teaches writing in Springfield, Missouri.


No More Milk (Sundress Publications, 2016). Poetry.


Stone for an Eye (Kent State University Press, 2003). Wick Poetry Series III. Poetry.

Press & Reviews

In “Micromanaging the Garden,” Karen Craigo writes “I just / want something to grow here, / and it should be beautiful / in its dailiness, and durable, / surprising.” No description I could give of these lovely poems could be more accurate than this. But I will say, though this book’s cover tells us No More Milk, don’t believe it. These poems remind us that poetry, like milk, is one of our most fundamental forms of sustenance, and there is plenty here.
—Henrietta Goodman, author of Hungry Moon and Take What You Want

Karen Craigo writes Real People Poetry. Poetry by a real person, who, like all of us, is many different things to many different people every single day; someone who exalts in nature and love and God in one moment and the next notes that life gives you “all kind of shit.” It’s poetry that swings between feeling every one of the “thousand ways to be unprepared”–seeking more money, more time, more connection or solitude–and also knowing that the body “is so holy you’d have to leave your shoes to step inside.” And it’s poetry for real people, too, who yearn to have “the worth of small things” declared for us in beautiful, generous terms, because sometimes small things are all we have. People who need to feel heard and understood, and to know someone else out there is “upside down…is waiting…is making ready to fall.” Karen Craigo’s poetry is for all of us, and we didn’t even know that we needed it. But we do. I did. And you do.
—Jessica Piazza, author of This Is Not a Sky and Interrobang

Karen Craigo’s No More Milk creates a vibrant new language for giving and taking. The currency of “milk money” is passed between reader and speaker, shaken and pressed, a measured to overflowing gift. This book, formed from a daily life in which the domestic shapeshifts to the luminous and back again—a dustpan becomes the grim reaper and a poem is given as tithe—is surely the very richest of contemporary allegory. In the end, everything of Craigo’s is precious fluid, and “I drank it down”—hungrily. ~
—Sandra Marchetti, author of Confluence and Sight Lines.

Despite the seeming refusal implied by No More Milk, there’s vast generosity in these poems, a sense of holiness in even the smallest of gestures. Holy, but not numinous: these are embodied prayers, “in praise of what’s left/ and all the hands it has known,” the kind that makes you “bow beneath the burden of words.” There is a profound personal morality at stake for this poet who loves the people and things of this earth in all their itchy-butt blessedness, “the slugs/ as much as the lilacs,” who manages to sing like “the bird/ that has made us rise…/…yesterday’s anger/ reduced to syllables in the air.” Alleluia.
—Heidi Czerwiec, author of Self-Portrait as Bettie Page and Sweet/Crude: A Bakken Boom Cycle

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