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Posted: Friday April 2, 2010
Adeena Karasick

Adeena Karasick is a media artist, performer, cultural theorist, and the critically acclaimed author of seven books of poetry and poetic theory. She teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Department at Pratt Institute in New York. Karasick is also co-founding Artistic Director of the KlezKanada Poetry Festival and Retreat. In 2017 the Adeena Karasick Archive was established at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Her writing is marked with an urban, Jewish, and feminist aesthetic that continually challenges normative modes of meaning production and blurs the lines between popular culture and scholarly discourse. It has been described as “electricity in language” (Nicole Brossard), “proto-ecstatic jet-propulsive word torsion” (George Quasha), and noted for its “cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory” (Charles Bernstein), its “twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick’s signature ‘syllabic labyrinth’” (Craig Dworkin).

Karasick’s most recent publications are Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, 2017), a Jewish-feminist revisiting of the Biblical story of Salomé, and The Medium is the Muse: Channeling Marshall McLuhan (NeoPoiesis Press, 2014).

Karasick has lectured and performed worldwide, participated in international conferences, telepoetic colloquia, and literary festivals. She regularly publishes articles, reviews, and dialogues on contemporary poetry, poetics and cultural/semiotic theory. She also produces videopoems and sound recordings of her work, which highlight its radical performativity (find them on YouTube), and she was also featured on the TV series Heart of a Poet, produced in conjunction with Bravo! TV.

More information on Karasick and and her work can be found on adeenakarasick.com

Author photo credit: Safia Karasick Southey

LATEST Adeena Karasick NEWS

April 2018 : Check it out: Checking In!

March 2017 : Thank you, poetry lovers of the eastern US!

March 2017 : Adeena Karasick archive donated to Simon Fraser University

March 2017 : All-Star Talon poets on tour in the eastern U.S.

February 2016 : Valentine’s Day Specials!

August 2015 : Karasick’s one-woman show, Salomé: Woman of Valor, returns to NYC

June 2014 : Tomorrow in Abbotsford! Spoken Word and Bubbly with Adeena Karasick


Winner, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award (2016)

Winner, Voce Donna Italia Award for contributions to feminist thinking (2016)

MPS Mobile Award for being the world’s first “mobile poet” (2008)

Winner, People’s Choice Award, Electrolit International Videopoem Festival, for “Alphabet City” (1999)



Finalist, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, BC Book Prizes (1995)


Dyssemia Sleaze

Winner, Bumbershoot Book Fair Award for Most Adventurous Publication (2000)


Amuse Bouche

One of the Best Books of 2009 (About.com)

Winner, “Exuberance is Beauty” Award (2009)


This Poem

“Karasick’s is less a poetry of ideas than ideas of poetry – plural, cascading, exuberant in their cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory.”
– Charles Bernstein

“[Karasick’s] writing is an extraordinary tour de force in the new paraliterary initiative of ‘fiction/theory’ that blends various genres and revels in their ­‘contamination.’ ”
– Canadian Book Review Annual

“ Karasick traces her creative lineage to medieval kabbalistic writings, which, as she points out, “urge the reader to experience language in ‘non-traditional ways’ — extract it from its use value and encourage one to somehow get inside these cosmic and erotic fields of discourse, harness language’s inherent power, and experience the sensation of ever-expanding ‘meaning.’” ”
– The Jewish Daily Forward

“strenuously playful..many bits of sly, allusive (cultural/social/political) commentary that slowly accumulates among all the words at play in the fields of the word, advancing an oblique critique of consumer capitalist culture & its workings…”
– Eclectic Ruckus


Amuse Bouche

“Her writing is an extraordinary tour de force in the new paraliterary initiative of ‘fiction/theory’ that blends various genres and revels in their ‘contamination.’”
Canadian Book Review Annual

“If today or in the future I were to knock on Karasick’s poem-door, and ask (assuming appropriate familiarity), ‘Can Adeena come out and play?’ I have little doubt that the answer would be, ‘Yes!’ and that right quick she’d be out on the porch and just like that she’d lexically skip and cartwheel down the street and around the corner, heading right to wherever it was that the words promised the most fun that day. I’d happily try to keep up with Karasick, just to see where she went and what kind of fun she got into. Even if she stumbled a bit, or took a wrong turn or two along the way, I’m sure it’d be, for my mind, a real good, a most interesting, time.” — Steven Fama


The House that Hijack Built

Perhaps the strangest, most irreverent and utterly shameless of possible responses to a tragedy, Karasick’s is also, finally, deeply, and compellingly human.
Publishers Weekly


Dyssemia Sleaze

Her most visually compelling, over-the-top collection to date.
Publishers Weekly



Beautiful linguistic carnage…

Bridging the genre gap…

Visually striking…
Jewish Post and News



“[Karasick] enacts language in a concrete way, so that it becomes a sort of golem figure she has animated through the sacred words. And she calls on the figural body of words (their etymology, morphology, phonology and usage) more than their meanings to build her poetry-essays.”
Canadian Literature

Mêmewars is electricity in language, eccentricity at its best where ‘there’s a profusion of presents.’ This book makes eye contact with she and with me. It reminds me how being a reader can be exciting.”
— Nicole Brossard


The Empress Has No Closure

All of it hums with intellectual energy, much of it is even funny.
Books in Canada

An impressive deconstruction of language and meaning…
Canadian Literature

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