Kris Beaver

I Was a Naughty Square Dancer

Oh, how fifth grade PE
brought out the imp in me,

that pubescent rascal
chubby sense of humor kinda gal,

a wannabe popular desperado
on the gym floor who got in trouble

and sent to Mr. Smoke's office
for kicking up the bouncy flounce—

puffed skirt of the dosey-doeing
girl ahead of me, exposing

her precious, pansy-dappled pink
underpants. What made me think

to do that? I remember laughing,
and Miss Godie's grapple-grip yanking

me out of our cockeyed formation,
the cold oak and humiliation

of waiting alone on the principal's
bad kid bench, practicing my initials

in my very best cursive on the wood.
My penmanship was pretty good.

Try to Praise the Mutilated World

A Golden Shovel after Adam Zagajewski's "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" translated by Clare Cavanah

So many self-destructive things you've
thought while wincing in shame. You've heard
sirens whisking suicides through the
night. Feared the electric switch executioners
flip on command. Felt the urge to sing
a dirge at your own service after joyfully
planning your inevitable denouement. You
have wasted living rehearsing dying. Should
anyone so ungrateful get another chance? Yes. Praise
each breath and beat. Let them propel you into the
flora, fauna, land and waters. Heal your mutilated
self. Earth's grace absolves the wounded human world.


Kris Beaver's poetry has appeared in ERGO: The Bumbershoot Literary Magazine, What Rough Beast, Rattle, Meniscus and Bracken, among other journals. A retired elementary school teacher, she is currently at work on a chapbook entitled Raw Daughter. Kris lives in Washington state, between the magnificent Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.


Kris Beaver
Catherine Chandler
Mary Cresswell
Catherine Fitzpatrick
Nicole Caruso Garcia
Katie Hartsock
Jean L. Kreiling
Diane Lee Moomey
T. R. Poulson
Catherine Esposito Prescott
Carolyn Raphael
Claudia Schatz
Leslie Schultz


The Poetry by the Sea Spring Celebration is available for viewing on Youtube as a permanent memorial and tribute to Mezzo Cammin's founder, Dr. Kim Bridgford (1959-2020). Click here to watch.

The 2022 Poetry by the Sea conference will run May 24-27 2022.

My work contributes to the dialogue among feminist writers, historians, critics, and artists to define a space for creative work and agency for women. Through my figurative paintings, I challenge notions about the female body, redefine myths, and recover the lives of historical women. I draw upon my knowledge of art history, symbolism, and iconography to create rich stories about the women I paint. By projecting my own likeness into many of the portraits I create or by using models, I identify with the women I paint and explore my own sense of being an artist and woman in relation to accomplished women across centuries and cultures.

Here we see the pages from my newest artist book, I Wake Again, based on the life of Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet, Elizabeth Siddal. The poems are written by Kim Bridgford, who was a dear friend for 30 plus years. The pages are printed in lithography and the initial letter of each poem is done in silkscreen. The font of the poems is Morris Font. The ink color is graphite. I have reimagined key moments in Elizabeth’s life, such as her birth, her writing poetry, reading, painting, and her death. Each book contains red hair and has been bound by Maureen Cummins.

32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
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Texas Tech Univ Press
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