Where Dance and Poetry Meet

7.16.17. I just returned from two fabulous weeks in Lisbon as part of the Disquiet International Literary Program. What a great experience it was to work with the poets Denise Duhamel and Terri Witek and to learn about the literary history of Portugal. I was thrilled to read a couple of poems at Sao Luis Teatro in the same room where Pina Bausch performed Cafe Muller for the last time, May, 2008.

photo by Steven Tagle, July 2017.

Finalist for The Disquiet Literary Prize

3.20.17. News just came in that my poem, "A History of Feminism," was a finalist for The Disquiet Literary Prize, awarded by the folks who run The Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. I'm excited to attend the program this summer and cannot wait to visit Lisbon.

"A History of Feminism" will be published in the 2017 great weather for MEDIA anthology. More about this soon.

(available thru Three Rooms Press)

 by Karen Hildebrand

I have many reports
on the miseries of the milkman,

daughter of dairy folk that I am. 
But the cows! The cows are lovely!

Holstein, Guernsey, 
Belarus Red. Uncle Vern

used to hook them up 
to machines that pulsed

the barn like a disco. Milk!
It's my happy place! Butter

churned from the froth!
Takes well to chocolate

and mama’s boys.
It’s the sweet bond of suckle

we wish we could return to.
In a bowl the Cheerios

always run out first.
Snow White, a shapely vixen,

bottled with a pleated cap
and wholesome as Nancy Drew.

“Farming is hard,” said Uncle Vern 
before he died. “Damn you,

Vern,” said his wife, after.
When he was sad, he ate

Wonder Bread soaked in milk 
from a glass with a spoon.

New Work, Summer 2015

I'm proud to have new work in two excellent anthologies this summer:

Aug 2015

Before Passing  from great weather for MEDIA

I will be reading with other contributors on
Wed. September 30:

Pacific Standard
Brooklyn, 7-9:30 pm.

"Techno Prisoners" Maintenant 9
 from Three Rooms Press

I was also part of a special launch of Joanna Fuhrman's newest book, The Year of Yellow Butterflies. I read my prose poem "The Year of No Men."

Flag Foundation
Chelsea Art Tower, NYC
May 21, 2015

Artist in Residence, Ravens View Farm

For two weeks this Spring, this will be my view. I've been invited by the proprietors of Ravens View Farm in Peachland, British Columbia, to be their first Artist in Residence. Alison and Mark are old friends from the 1990s, when we all lived in Boulder, Colorado. Now, they're organic fruit tree growers in Canada and I'm a magazine editor in New York City. I'm excited and grateful for this gift of time to focus on my poetry manuscript. Plus I get to be a farmer! For two hours every day, I help out with chores. Then, it's butt-in-the-chair time. No internet, no television. Just me and the page. Gulp.

Booty Call

In Sea Isle City, signs are posted:
Take it slow for the turtles.
Every summer they cross the pavement
from bay to beach, like us.
Pleasure Avenue is the name of this road
and even if we don’t give a whit about turtles
we are compelled to check our speed.
If we travel long enough from the casino bus,
Pleasure Avenue will lead us to oldies night
at Busch’s, where we can, if we’re quick, beat out
the white haired ladies for a place at the end of the bar
to sit with our handbags swaddled to our chests
like the babies we never had. It’s the best
spot to sip a martini and survey the kingdom
of nothing else to do on a Saturday night.

The dj spins tunes for women with thickening midriffs,
reclaiming their youth on the dance floor.
We need to take our pleasure as we can.
When I pause just a beat too long before saying no
to the married guy in the ballcap—the only guy
I want to dance with—who do I think is watching?
Why do the turtles lay their eggs in the sand
and not the mud? God has his head in the clouds.
He flips a coin to decide which side
is the wrong side. Watch as He sets up a quarter
on the back of His thumb. Watch the female turtles
and their newborn young take their marks
along Pleasure Avenue, the ocean side,
as the hot pavement sweats, once again
risking everything to answer an ancient
and insistent booty call.

A version of this poem was first published by Uphook Press in its anthology, Gapeseed. It also makes an appearance in the play, "The Old In and Out."

"The Old In and Out," a play about sex, love, and the cure for happily-ever-after.

"The Old In and Out" enjoyed a sold-out run of 4 shows in June at Stage Left Studio Theater, NYC. Thanks to everyone who attended, we were able to make a donation to V-Day, Eve Ensler's global movement to end violence against women and girls.
The Cast (clockwise from top): Holly Crane, Olivia Jampol, Rachel Ritacco, Eloise Eonnet

The Creative Team (l to r): Karen Hildebrand, Kat Georges, Madeline Artenberg


What happens when young newlyweds in the era of free love realize that "happily ever after" is the last thing they're likely to get? "The Old In and Out," a new two-act play by Madeline Artenberg and Karen Hildebrand, directed by Kat Georges, tells the stories of four contemporary women who, while looking for love, discover their true independent selves. Runs 70 minutes, without intermission. Adult themes and language.

Feedback from audience members:

"Thoroughly loved seeing this. Really smart writing. Funny, poignant and great delivery of poetry and prose from 4 very talented and beautiful actresses."

"Saw the play on Friday, opening night, and was blown away by its power, both dramatically and emotionally. It was witty, moving, and finely acted."

For more photos and licensing information: www.facebook.com/TheOldInAndOut