Music and art and poetry galore!


Debra Wuliger’s art opening last night offered something for everyone: art, music, and poetry—enough of each but not so much as to wear one out.

The event took place in the fabulous entry hall at the Durham Arts Council, where Deb’s work will be on display through December. Though the footprint isn’t huge, the many windows and very high ceiling create a spacious feeling. Deb had six Coffee Talk 2013 paintings on easels, four on the main floor and two on the landing of the stairway that wraps the perimeter.

Throughout the evening Deb’s son Abram Wuliger played beatbox flute and Emily Smith played cello from the second floor—music floating down from the sky. Six poets read poems they had written especially for Deb’s art (Alice Osborn, Cherryl T. Cooley, Arthur Powers, A. Kat Reece, me, and Bianca Diaz). In between poems, the musicians played a short interlude. The audience appeared to enjoy the smooth, short, engaging performance (not to mention the nibbles). All in all, a fine evening!

The evening's artists: Emily, Alice, Cherryl, Bianca, Debra, Abram, me, Kat, Arthur

The evening’s artists: Emily, Alice, Cherryl, Bianca, Debra, Abram, me, Kat, Arthur


DSCN0383 resized

Me, reading from the landing

As promised, here’s my poem that goes with Deb’s “When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light.”

PEACE CAME | Karin S. Wiberg

She stands, body hitched to one side
as though her t-shirt covers a muscle pulled
from too many hours cutting in the ceiling

or feathering wet edges, rather than an incision stitched
too tight. The smears on her shirt do not remind her
of yellowing bruises or iodine stains.

Nor are they reminiscent of the indigo tattoos
saying Aim here, burn here, or of the blistered
crimson target. Her hands relax as though

they never gripped a handle for steadiness
during showers of streaming light, as though they
only ever held a paint brush or roller.

She nods as though her scarf hides nothing.
She smiles as though her eyes do not reflect
her covert journey, the dove sent out three times.

She remembers reading that, unlike most birds,
doves secrete a sort of milk to feed their young, and,
unlike humans, they don’t require breasts to do it.

Me, with Debra Wuliger's "When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light"

Me, with Debra Wuliger’s “When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light”

P.S. Do you see the dove? Deb didn’t even realize she had painted it!

Chicken Haiku for Sue


Well, I owe a few people chicken haiku for helping out Raleigh Review with scholarship contributions. The first is for Sue, creator of Look, Cook, and Eat!


Scratch, scratch, scratch,

digging for gold flecks—

when do dreams hatch?


Sometimes ya gotta get it yerself...

Sometimes ya gotta get it yerself…


Sometimes yer friends  help ya out...

Sometimes yer friends help ya out…

Incidentally, Look, Cook, and Eat has garnered 200+ backers and over $25,000 for their Kickstarter campaign to create a digital how-to cooking magazine for those with intellectual disabilities. With just under two weeks to go, they still need about $18,000 to hit their goal and be funded. Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Ooo! It’s a fancy vocabulary word: ekphrastic!


Ekphrasis comes from the Greek for “description.” Ekphrastic poetry typically describes a work of art. (Check out for a more robust discussion.)

My latest poetry project has been coordinating six poets to write ekphrastic poems for Debra Wuliger’s Coffee Talk 2013 series of paintings. This Friday, we’ll be reading the poems at her art opening.

Event Details
DATE: Friday, August 15, 2014
TIME: 5pm-7pm, poetry reading at 6pm
LOCATION: Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, Durham, North Carolina
POETS: Cherryl T. Cooley, Bianca Diaz, Alice Osborn, Arthur Powers, A. Kat Reece, & me!
ARTIST: Debra Wuliger

Here’s my painting, but you’ll have to wait for the poem. :-)


When Peace Came I Showered Under Streaming Light

Look, Cook, and Eat Media Coverage


Look, Cook, and Eat is getting some press for its Kickstarter campaign. Check out Epicurious and WHO-TV in Des Moines for their coverage.

Here’s a Digital Cooking Magazine Designed Especially for People with Learning Challenges |

Baristas Inspire Project for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities | WHO-TV

This is a fantastic project that opens up the world of cooking for intellectually disabled adults. Please support it on Kickstarter or by sharing this information with those who may be interested. Thanks!

Look, Cook, and Eat Kickstarter


Main Dish Media has a wonderful project called Look, Cook and Eat, that offers a digital how-to cooking magazine designed for those with intellectual disabilities to help promote an independent lifestyle.

They are seeking $45,000 through Kickstarter, and are about a third of the way there, with 102 backers (including me) at this writing.

I know the folks involved in this effort–and they are awesome! Not only do they have loads of recipe-development, cooking, and publishing experience, they’ve worked with many remarkable people with intellectual disabilities.

Take a look at the video, make a contribution if you are so inclined, then share the projects with others who might be interested. Thank you!

Looking forward to Wednesday’s poetry reading


I’ve been prepping a bit this afternoon. I find it fun to develop a program with a theme or a flow to it that works for a particular audience–like putting puzzle pieces together.

Tomorrow’s reading has a little bit of Asian feel (ooo–chicken haiku, anyone?) and a little bit of Southern feel. Might share a couple of poems from Raleigh Review as well.

Should be an entertaining evening. Come join us!

Karin reading at Unvined June 2014

Karin reading at Unvined June 2014


To have great poets, there must be great audiences.


Ah, that Walt Whitman, he really knew what he was talking about.

Harry “the Great” Calhoun and I will be reading this Wednesday, July 23, at UnVine’d in Cary. There’s room for open mic readers and, of course, there’s room for a great audience.

Here are the details…

Location: UnVine’d Wine Bar & Tapas, 201 West Chatham St., #103, Olde Cary Commons, Cary, NC (Reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy, UnVine’d Wine Bar and Tapas is tucked away in the heart of downtown Cary. Fine wines at affordable prices… tapas, paninis and salads prepared by gourmet chefs… and walls adorned with artwork from local artists, courtesy of Manifestationz Art Gallery. It’s the perfect atmosphere for an evening of poetry!)

Time7:30pm to 9:30pm (or thereabouts)

Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Open mic: You’ve got 5 minutes to wow the great audience. Sign up in advance with me (kswiberg at or Harry (HarryC13 at; or sign up that night.

Harry has had work published in various poetry journals and more than a dozen books, oh let’s risk inflating it, maybe two dozen chapbooks. But he’s old. His most recent collection is Failure is Unimportant. Don’t ask him if that’s true after he’s had a bad day.

You already know lil’ ol’ me.

Empower a writer with Power2Give!


UPDATE: GOAL MET!!! Stayed tuned for chicken haiku in the next few days… :-)


Pop culture stereotypes writers as moody introverts huddled behind the glow of their computer screens. Masterpieces, when they come, fall whole from the sky to their laps. However, for most of us who consider ourselves writers, we know this isn’t true.

Writers need community. Writers need mentors. Writers need friends. Writers need help. Writers need to be empowered.

Today, I’m inviting you to empower a writer.

For the past year, I’ve been volunteering as managing editor at Raleigh Review. In Fall 2014/Spring 2015, we’ll offer our new workshop and reading series, Southern Recitations. Six award-winning writers will teach weekend workshops in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction and will perform readings the corresponding Saturday evening. Each 2-day workshop is limited to 15 participants, allowing students to receive hands-on guidance from the instructor and enjoy camaraderie with peers. Readings are free and open to the public.

To make our workshops accessible for those who might not otherwise be able to attend, we’re using the crowd-funding platform Power2Give. Contributing NOW to our scholarship campaign means that your funds will be generously matched 1:1 by North Carolina Arts Council. For every $10 you donate, NC Arts Council will donate another $10! But the funds only last until they are gone, which we’ve been informed will probably happen within the next week.

It’s free money, people! Help us get it! To read more about the project and to donate $5, $10, or $20 (or as much as your writerly heart desires) and earn matching funds, click here!

And as an EXTRA bonus–just for my blog readers–if you donate now, I will write you a chicken haiku!! :-)

What? Featured reader?? Me?


It’s time for some poetry out loud again!

Harry Calhoun ( and I are reading at UnVine’d Wine Bar in Cary, NC. We’ll do 15-20 minutes each, then open up the mic. Are you game??

Here are the details…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 7:30pm-9:30pm
UnVine’d Wine Bar & Tapas, 201 W. Chatham St. – #103, Olde Cary Commons, Cary, NC
Relax with a glass of wine and listen to poetry from two talented Raleigh poets: Harry Calhoun and Karin Wiberg. Open mic readers and other entertainers are encouraged and should contact Harry in advance of the reading ( UnVine’d Wine Bar and Tapas is tucked away in the heart of downtown Cary. Fine wines at affordable prices…tapas, paninis and salads prepared by gourmet chefs…and walls adorned with artwork from local artists. The perfect atmosphere for an evening of poetry!

And, as Harry likes to say, we are both cute as bugs. :-)

Come on in and have a great time!