Jen Karetnick


If you make yourself
a ghost with the snow
melt from mountains,
the ash of brief,
ascetic fires, you were.
You are. You will be
in a hut in a village,
a temple in the city.
In the cave of perpetual
pilgrimage, it matters only that
rebirth is a truth
everyone else has missed.


Previously published in The Boiler Journal and American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016).

Jen Karetnick is the author of three full-length books of poetry, including the forthcoming books American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing, May 2016) and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press, September 2016), as well as four poetry chapbooks. She is the winner of the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize for Poetry and runner-up for the 2015 Atlantis Prize and 2016 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize. Her work has been published widely in journals including Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, december, North American Review, Poet’s Market 2013, Seneca Review, SLAB, Spillway, Spoon River Poetry Review and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She works as the Creative Writing Director for Miami Arts Charter School and as an award-winning freelance dining critic, lifestyle journalist and cookbook author.

“Poetry matters because sometimes, it’s the only way for those who have been silenced, in whatever manner — by self, state or circumstance — to speak. And to be heard.”