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Brie Season Paperback – September 10, 2014
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About the Author
Miami-based poet, writer, critic and educator Jen Karetnick’s fourth chapbook of poetry, Prayer of Confession, is recently out from Finishing Line Press, and her cookbook, Mango, is due October 7, 2014 from University Press of Florida. Her creative work has been published widely in Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, december, Greensboro Review, North American Review, Poets & Writers, Prick of the Spindle, River Styx, Seneca Review, SLAB, Spillway, Submittable and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among many others. She works as the Creative Writing Director at Miami Arts Charter School; dining critic at MIAMI Magazine; blogger at Virgin Atlantic Airways; contributor to TheLatinKitchen.com; columnist at Biscayne Times; mom of two teenagers; fur-mom to six rescue pets; and caretaker of 14 mango trees.
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Jen Karetnick is a poet and author who has written (and co-authored) books about food, like a recipe book for mangoes, entitled to no surprise, “Mango.” Food is an important part of our lives, for more than the obvious reasons of sustenance and survival. Food is part of culture, for good and for ill.
In “Brie Season: Poems,” Karetnick has assembled some 60 poems which are ostensibly about food, but go deeper into the culture that frames what we call food and the human emoptions that come into play. The poems are about tomatoes, mangoes, date palms, how to drink champagne alone, deviled eggs, bagels, hard-boiled eggs, oranges, cookies, mustard, asparagus, mushrooms, cocktails, cappuccino, and more. One poem is about cheese, or more precisely, it is a response to an observation G.K. Chesterton made about cheese.
A Note to GK Chesterton
If it’s true, as you say, that we have been
“mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese,”
perhaps it’s because few are the poets
who would choose as a muse
a bloomy rind triple crème
coated with penicillium candidum
when great white herons miss the bay
and, with breeze-fuzzed feathers,
land instead to amuse toddlers by stalking
reef geckos not quite camouflaged
among the grasses growing like lies
on the sand-held bricks of driveways
where basketball nets hang – the tattered
tails of kites – or wax about calf rennet
when older boys wheel like hawks
on baseball diamonds and our daughters
run, more long-legged every day,
under phone wires lined with a dozen
observant ibis, or care about cheddaring
and cave aging when none of these
things are true, and the children we never
bore are regrets, difficult to census
yet kept warm in the nests
of plume-hunted, colonial egrets.
That poem provides the flavor of “Brie Season” – it begins speaking about a food and then becomes something else entirely.
Karetnick received an MFA in Poetry from the University of California-Irvine and an MFA in fiction from the University of Miami. She is the author of three books of poetry, including the forthcoming American Sentencing, and four chapbooks: “Prayer of Confession,” “Landscaping for Wildlife,” “Bud Break at Mango House,” and “Necessary Salt.” She is a freelance writer, publishing in numerous food and general interest magazines, including two articles for The Atlantic: “Virtual Education: Genuine Benefits or Real-Time Demerits?” and “Behind the Scenes of Teenage Writing Competitions.” Additionally, she’s won numerous awards and honors for both her poetry and her writing on food.