Home » Newpages Blog » Beltway Editions

Book Review :: Diving at the Lip of the Water by Karen Poppy

Diving at the Lip of the Water by Karen Poppy book cover image

Guest Post by Jen Knox

Diving at the Lip of the Water, Karen Poppy’s debut full-length collection of poetry, explores the mystery and beauty of nature alongside the human potential that lives somewhere beyond our imposed boundaries. While the collection shows the author’s ability to move from precise individual worlds to political critique and macro ideas about human nature, each poem offers something of a contemplative nudge. Poppy’s gentle call to action is summarized as she writes, “The poetic voice has / Invisible instructions: / Crack open in case / Of emergency.”

Perhaps we are all living that emergency and in need of the voices that stand up for the magic of existence and refuse to over-define and confine. These poems offer philosophy, relational stories, and appreciation for the natural world. They invite readers to look to the wisdom around us, in all that nourishes, urging, “Growth will come Don’t let / This slowness burden you.” Anyone looking to remember the beauty of life or hear the sweet song of voices that do not shout will find a journey and a gift in Karen Poppy’s collection.

Diving at the Lip of the Water by Karen Poppy. Beltway Editions, May 2023.

Reviewer bio: Jen Knox is a writer based in Ohio. Her work appears in Chicago Tribune, Chicago Quarterly Review, Room Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post. She was the recipient of the Montana Prize for Nonfiction from CutBank. Jen’s first novel, We Arrive Uninvited, was released in March 2023. Jenknox.com