Karen Leona Anderson

Karen Leona Anderson

Karen Leona Anderson is the author of Receipt and a previous collection of poems, Punish Honey. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, as well as ecopoetics, ZYZZYVA, Volt, and others. Originally from Connecticut, she received her MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, an MA from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and her PhD from Cornell University, with a dissertation on poetry and science. She is currently Associate Professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Best American Poetry 2012

Books by Karen Leona Anderson

Karen Leona Anderson

In this collection, apparently prosaic documents—recipes and receipts—are transformed into expressions of human identity. From cherry pie to the little black dress to an epidural, these poems show how material objects and expenditures constrain and shape our twenty-first-century lives.

Author Q & A

  • Question

    What does feminism mean to you? Do you see yourself as a feminist writer and/or how do you position yourself or your writing in the feminist movement today?

    So to Speak

    Feminism is, very definitely, the starting point for my writing. By this I mean that I start with the assumption that gender identification is a major factor in shaping our lived experience and that not all gender identifications have equal power. I don’t think I’ve suffered from extreme versions of sexism—just your garden-variety disdainful rejection of my work and interests, for the most part—but I know that my experience as a writer has been both affected by sexism and enriched by the feminist community. Because I write from a perspective informed by biology, I’m deeply skeptical about essentialist ideas about female identity and I’m also hopeful about our ability to modify the gender cultures that shape us as individuals. So I write in part to articulate how feminine identity constrains us, in part to show how it might allow us to rethink our possibilities. [Read more at So to Speak].

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