Poet and literary translator Karen McPherson was a professor of French literature at the University of Oregon from 1998 until her very recent retirement. (She has almost finished emptying out her campus office but still has a few hundred books—mostly in French--for which she is seeking loving homes.) In addition to two scholarly monographs (Incriminations: Guilty Women/ Telling Stories and Archaeologies of an Uncertain Future), Karen is the author of the full-length poetry collection Skein of Light (Airlie Press, 2014) and of the 2012 chapbook Sketching Elise (Finishing Line Press). In 2013, she published Delft Blue & Objects of the World, a book-length translation into English of poetic essays by Québec poet Louise Warren. Between 2013 and 2017, she worked as an editor in the Airlie Press poetry collective. With Tim Shaner, she coordinated the Lane Literary Guild Windfall Reading Series in 2016-2018. In 2018-2019, she served on the board of the newly established Oregon Center for Translation Studies.
Karen’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals including Beloit Poetry Journal, Descant, The Cincinnati Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Comstock Review, and Potomac Review. She has done residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Playa; she is a regular member of two local writing and critique groups (the Wicked Good Writers group and the Guild’s Poetry 1 critique group); and she particularly enjoys her annual summer writing retreats with her Porch Sisters. She is currently completing final revisions on a poetry manuscript called Long for This World. She also has several translations in progress of works by three contemporary Québec poets: another volume of poetic essays by Louise Warren, a poetry volume called Right Up Close by Louise Dupré, and a poetry sequence called The Backtalking Back of Words by Nicole Brossard. Karen’s website (which she does occasionally remember to update) is kmcphersonpoet.com.