Author Talk with Karen Chase

may, 2024

14may6:00 pm7:00 pmFeaturedAuthor Talk with Karen ChaseGunn Memorial Library6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Gunn Memorial Library, 5 Wykeham Road, Washington CT, 06794

Event Details

The Gunn Memorial Library in collaboration with The Hickory Stick Bookshop presents an author talk with Karen Chase, “History is Embarrassing.”

In her collection of essays, Karen Chase weaves together threads from one single contemporary life and recounts how that life collides with history. As a girl with polio, a Jewish woman, poet, writer, and painter, the author is an outsider as are most of the characters in these pages – undercover cops, poets, a gay couple in 1500s India, bear poachers, psychiatric patients, even a president. Each of these characters is one tiny dot in the enormous flow of humans from the beginning until now. Each life is equally a story that adds to the human story, to history.

What binds the characters all together is her distinct voice, the startling directness, immediacy, and intensity of her writing, and her fearlessness to go wherever her interests and imagination take her. Yet there are no easy conclusions or phony epiphanies here, no designs on the reader, but instead many surprises. Chase prizes authenticity and has it in spades.

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About the author: Karen Chase is the author of two collections of poems, Kazimierz Square and BEAR, as well as Jamali Kamali, a book-length homoerotic poem that takes place in Mughal India. Her award-winning book Land of Stone, tells the story of her work with a silent young man in a psychiatric hospital where she was the hospital poet. Her childhood bout with polio sparked her memoir Polio Boulevard, as well as FDR on His Houseboat: The Larooco Log, 1924-1926. She and her husband live in western Massachusetts. Visit her online at


(Tuesday) 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Gunn Memorial Library

5 Wykeham Road, Washington CT, 06794


Gunn Memorial LibraryPhone: (860) 868-7586