|A Certain Kind of Forgiveness|
Poems by Carol Kapaun Ratchenski
Winner of the 2019 Birdy Poetry Prize
Published: September 12, 2019
There is a worldliness in these poems, the kind of grit that accompanies a strong heart. There’s awareness--of the self, of the world. And the poems are populated with the magical, husky things of this earth: warm beer in Berlin, rice in a bowl in a monastery, and stains from fresh cranberries. These are poems we can savor, now and again.
-Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017-2019
I love Carol Kapaun Ratchenski’s prose poems. I mean, I love the poems in verse, too, but these narrative nuggets feed me all the way down to my bones. This is soul food, without ever packaging itself in God-language. It is brimming with hope, even as says yes to shattering loss. It is a wonder-soaked glimpse of love in all of its expressions, as it’s knocking her down and lifting her up. The poet’s version of the human predicament, told with startling authenticity, becomes my story. Becomes our story. Becomes redemption.
-Mirabai Starr, Author of Caravan of No Despair and Wild Mercy
Interview with Carol Kapaun Ratchenski - Prairie Public News
Inaugural Birdy Poetry Prize awarded by Local Publisher - Emporia Gazette
Carol Kapaun Ratchenski is a lifelong resident of North Dakota, where you can see the sky without ever looking up and the open spaces demand art. And sometimes, love. Her first collection of poetry, A Beautiful Hell, won the 2016 Many Voices Project and was published by New Rivers Press. A Beautiful Hell has since been adapted to the stage by Laurie J. Baker with the support of Theater “B” and Humanities North Dakota. Ratchenskiʼs first novel, Mambaby was published in 2013 by Knuckledown Press. Her work has appeared in Gypsy Cab, Red Weather, North Dakota Quarterly, Wintercount,
Lake Region Review, Dust and Fire, Dash, NDSU Magazine and others as well as in the anthologies Resurrecting Grace: Remembering Catholic Childhoods, edited by Marilyn Sewell, Beacon Press, 2001, The Cancer Poetry Project: Poems by Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them, edited by Karen B. Miller, Fairview Press, 2007, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan, edited by Thom Tammaro and Alan Davis, New Rivers Press, 2018.
Ratchenski is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner/operator of Center for Compassion and Creativity in Fargo, ND, where she also lives. She is at work on a second novel while she prepares to be honest, loving, disruptive, and groovy at age 60.