Karen Rigby is the author of the chapbooks Savage Machinery (2008) and Festival Bone (2004). A National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow and past resident at the Vermont Studio Center, she has been published in Washington Square, Black Warrior Review, Best New Poets 2008, and other journals. She is a cofounder of Cerise Press, and a member of the National Book Critics Circle.
Winner of the 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize
“Sumptuous yet restrained, Chinoiserie has the intricate beauty and tensile strength of spider silk. Karen Rigby’s deeply imagined poems shimmer with reticence: an oddly seductive privacy that continues to unfold with each reading. Each line ignites subtle explosions of perception; each gesture is exquisite and mysterious, invested with the ineluctable reserves of lyric.... Poems this nuanced and strong, wild and grave, seem to be been written with a feather and a chisel. They are that delicate, that indelible.”
“In Karen Rigby’s poems, ideas and things coexist seamlessly. Dense, unpredictable images and beautifully unlikely sounds evoke not only a sensory universe but also a rigorous mind, on which nothing, from art or life, is lost.... Chinoiserie is a nourishing book, to be savored slowly.”
“As Randall Jarrell famously noted in a review of William Carlos Williams, poetry’s first and most lasting pleasure lies in the act of seeing. Karen Rigby sees with feeling the magic of things shaped by language.... This is, quite simply, a gorgeous and powerful book.”
—Paul Hoover, judge of the 2011 Sawtooth Poetry Prize