Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Contributor Spotlight on Kara Candito

by Dan Froid

OKCupid, a VH1 countdown show, the film Scream; l’écriture feminine, Federico García Lorca, the minor god Cybele. What do these things have in common? For Kara Candito, they are all poetic subjects or inspiration for her funny, weird, and cerebral work. Take, for example, the beginning of “Sunday Afternoon Watching Scream I”:

Mmm this guacamole’s really good
and Rose McGowan’s nipples
get so fabulously hard right before
the ridiculous death scene in the garage.
Confession: I should be home right now
preparing a lecture on Ginsberg
and the counterculture.

Read the rest here. Perhaps it’s a cliché to say that Candito mixes the highbrow and the lowbrow. It’s more accurate to say that she ignores such boundaries entirely. Italian opera, Iranian film, and obscure American TV shows inform her poetry as easily as the everyday minutiae of modern life and technology (think OKCupid again).

Kara Candito, winner of the 2008 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for her collection Taste of Cherry, published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2009, released her second book this year. Spectator (University of Utah Pressa) is a poetic sequence that tracks the relationship between a U.S. citizen and a Mexican citizen as they attempt to traverse the fiendish bureaucracy of the U.S. immigration system.

Kara Candito participated in The Rumpus Poetry Club Chat in August, where she talks about the book—including the genesis of the goat on its cover. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily twice this year, most recently “Initiation #5: Lorca.” You can listen to her read a poem from Spectator, “Ars Amatoria: So You Want to Marry a Foreign National,” here. For more, check out her website, which features numerous links to her work online and information about recent and upcoming events.