Artist’s Statement

“She has something to say,” used to be a thing people said to say worth listening to. A high recommendation coming from my favorite English professor, the poet Cal Bedient. But at the time, in my mid-twenties, I didn’t know what I had to say yet. So the compliment was also a challenge.

I hadn’t even remembered key parts of my childhood yet. I had been a libertarian the semester after reading JS Mills and Peace & Freedom party member the next semester, after a brush up with Marx; clearly my politics were still a bit uncertain, too. Downright queasy-making.

By grad school, I was a little more clear. I offended my Objective Journalism-ist friend by saying I was “a pacifist, environmentalist, and feminist.” He scoffed: “at least you know who you are.” I didn’t scoff back, but I always wondered about people who think they don’t have opinions. Where are they in there?

Years later, I’m finally getting around to pursuing true mindfulness: to be able to have a thought and not have an opinion about it, to not judge unless truly called for. “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.”

So many sayings later, what is there left to say about what I have to say?

My daughters’ dad used to say, “talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” Maybe it’s also true about talking about words.

Still, I have been known to dance about architecture.


Karina will be reading from Post-Catholic Midrashim and her new book, Preliminary Visions:

  • April 8, 2020, 6 pm at Savoy Bookstore in Westerly
  • April. 11, 7 pm at Stillwater Books in Pawtucket

Preliminary Visions will be in select bookstores April 1. Call your favorite indie bookstore and let them know you’ll be looking for it–from Homebound Publications. Just one more way to support the indie bookstores, and the indie presses!

Join the #deamazonization.

Preliminary Visions now in preorder

My second poetry collection, Prelminary Visions, is at the printer and is now open for preorders through the publisher, Homebound Publications.

In the deep woods, hikers say, if you feel you are being watched by an animal, you probably are. Preliminary Visions creates moments of being, moments of relation, moments of meaning-making—frequently with that sense of being observed by a silent witness and a light source outside the frame. The poems’ impressionistic relationality begins to blur the imaginary outlines of the separate self and provokes instead a sense of the ‘ecological self,’ a worldview that offers a way out of the world-class delusions we’ve created and reclaims a healthy way to be—with/in Earth.

I’m so honored these two amazing writers and thinkers, Major  Jackson and Molly (Young) Brown, were willing to blurb the book. Here’s what they have to say:

“This is true poetry, combining a haiku-like perception of a pregnant moment or scene with a fine attunement to the sound and flow of words. Karina’s poems offer images of moments that speak to both heart and mind, moving from her own life experiences and challenges to the crises humanity faces today, with all the confusion, grief, rage, and insight that arise in response.” –Molly Brown, author of Growing Whole: Self-realization for the Great Turning

“If memory and poetic craft orient us—in Karina Lutz’s Preliminary Visions—to the natural spaces and events that define our lives, then an abiding commitment to recording in radiant forms and language make a useful wisdom of her protean efforts; which means this fine collection of poetry, questing toward immanence and illumination, is a necessary read for those of us who value wonder.” –Major Jackson, poetry editor, Harvard Review, author of Roll Deep

PechaKucha Providence poetry reading

I need practice reading poetry, so I brought poems from my new book, Post-Catholic Midrashim, to Providence’s PechaKucha September 24. Of course, since it was PechaKucha, the visuals behind the reading, which you can see in the video, flipped automatically every 20 seconds. What a challenge for reading! Who knew the same poem could take 15 seconds or 30 seconds to read? So you’ll notice how choppy but also how driven this reading is. Enjoy, and please give feedback, as I’ll be reading some of these poems  again soon, including at Four Corners Center for the Arts in Tiverton Feb. 13, and I crave the tips.