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CLMP Publishers Literature & Fiction - Poetry

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Inheritance with a High Error Rate

ISBN: 9781930781641
Binding: Paperback
Author: Jen Karetnick
Pages: 100
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 01/10/2024

Advance praise for Inheritance with a High Error Rate:

So much these days is abstracted by the meaningless language of politics, 24-hour news reels, social media, and disinformation. What the best poets do at their best is to counter that by ascribing authentic experiences and bearing witness to add new dimensions to discourse. This is exactly what Jen Karetnick accomplishes on the matter of climate change, with an authentic pounding of the heart, with a clear mind that explores terror as well as wonder, and with a soul that sees how the natural world connects concretely to womanhood, motherhood, and relationships of every kind. All this through the dexterity of her language that is as evocative and complex as nature itself in all its lushness, grit, grace, power, and vulnerability.  —Richard Blanco, author of Homeland of My Body

"The poems in Inheritance with a High Error Rate carry environmental angst and individual, quotidian worries, and also manage to bound with wit and rhythm. From the edge of the Atlantic, in a landscape rife with moist heat, Jen Karetnick sees the ‛too-early bounty' of fruit. Here too is the body with its sharp struggles and markings of age. In form and in free verse, this resonant collection circles alarm, granting a hard-won, clear-eyed survival. ‛This is enough wealth to grip.'"  —Lauren Camp, author of Took House (Tupelo Press), and judge of the 2022 Cider Press Review Book Award.

As much about catastrophe as it is about endurance, about decay as much as it is about beauty and life, Karetnick's haunting Inheritance with a High Error Rate is an oceanic swell of poems tidally rising out of the Miami's landscape, continuously changed by eco-damage. Her lush, sensory images let us taste the mangos and coconuts, hear the swaying palms, and feel the rushing surf, reminding us how fleeting this splendor is. Deftly self-aware of the human cause of climate change, as well as its effect on us and the earth, these poems build a world in which our interconnectedness with nature is inescapable. In her opening poem, ‛I Commiserate with the Pygmy Octopus Found in the Miami Beach Parking Garage,' Karetnick shows us, ‛Bottom dwellers, holders / of the smallest hopes, we have so much in common.' This book reaches for hope, yes hope, in spite of everything going against us, ‛We nourish hope like a habit,' these poems sing. There is also an undercurrent of dark humor, an embrace of play, a music that keeps us turning the page and returning to it again. ‛And the whole sea / shuddered with this shred of saturated joy,' Karetnick writes, and reading, we too get to feel this joy, to hold it within our bodies and sense our connection to water and sand. This book is a breath of salty air—you don't just read, you inhale deep.  —Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, author of 40 WEEKS

Jen Karetnick is a poet who homes and listens and knows a place ‛as if the land itself is both mind and body.' In her glorious fifth poetry collection, Inheritance with a High Error Rate, she writes with formal invention into the shifting foundations of the subtropics and its precarious balance of flora and fauna, soil and sea. Of the pygmy octopus found in a parking garage, she says, ‛All three of your hearts were born to know what dying is.' Amidst displacement and upheaval, she continually reaches for the bounty of mangoes, the faith of ants, the language of gumbo limbo, oolite, bananaquit, and fetterbush. In her empathetic rendering of what builds and breaks a landscape, Karetnick has written a masterful paean to ‛the preservation of all that we have been given.'  —Jennifer K. Sweeney, author of Foxlogic, Fireweed


Jen Karetnick is the author of 11 poetry collections including The Burning Where Breath Used to Be (David Robert Books, 2020), a CIPA Evvy Gold Medal winner and an Eric Hoffer Poetry Finalist. Her work has won the Tiferet Writing Contest for Poetry, Split Rock Review Chapbook Competition, Hart Crane Memorial Prize, and Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize, among other honors, and received support from the Vermont Studio Center, Wildacres Retreat, Mother's Milk Artist Residency, Centrum, Artists in Residence in the Everglades, and elsewhere. Karetnick is the co-founder and managing editor of SWWIM Every Day.