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Author / Artist Biography



The River From My Mouth

poems and paintings by Karla Van Vliet

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The River From My Mouth is a collection of lyrical poems that run like a mountain river through the territories of love and loss, identity and voice. Cut down to the bare essentials these poems speak to the inner life’s raw landscape. In swirling eddies of recurring images they sing in the sensual tense of yearning. 

ART / Individual Artists / General
POETRY / General

ISBN: 978-1-941830-56-7 (print)
ISBN: 978-1-941830-57-4 (digital)

LCCN: 2016950916

92 pages; 7 illustrations

Author / Artist Biography

Karla Van Vliet is a poet and artist. From the Book of Remembrance, a collection of poems and paintings, was published by Shanti Arts Publishing in 2015. Van Vliet has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and her poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, Blue Heron Review, The Tishman Review, Found Poetry Review, and Green Mountain Review. She holds a M.F.A. in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is co-founder and editor of deLuge Journal, a literary and arts journal. She is a Dreamwork analyst and administrator of the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf, Middlebury College. Van Vliet lives in Bristol, Vermont.

photograph: Sadie Newman


“Song emerges from what must live,” Karla Van Vliet writes in one of the precise, sculpted poems that comprise this collection. Then, with a strong, clear voice, she offers the very music of that survival. Listen carefully, and you will hear what it so generously reveals: the “word made of the body.” These are poems that speak “loss fluently” — the loss of home, of love, of self — but in their very expression they offer a means of return and reclamation."
— Karin Gottshall, author of award-winning Crocus

"Located in a minimalist’s pastoral, excised of all but the basest of nouns, and scored by plaintive birdsong, Karla Van Vliet’s poems skitter and soar with a tentative elegance, alighting on topics ranging from religious faith, to carnal lust, to the shortcomings of language. 'There are two ways to live in the world,' Van Vliet states. 'Walk the fields collecting dashes of color in my sweaty fist, or dig, dig the hole I will bury the hunched back of my body in.' These poems offer an aerial perspective of the crossroad — they migrate bravely through adversity, and teach the reader to 'bear the throat’s breath, the shiver of leaves made strange by meaning.'
— Paige Ackerson-Kiely, author of award-winning In No One’s Land


Jane Edberg, Let that Bird Out to Fly: The Art, Asemic Writing, and Poetry of Karla Van Vliet, Medium, March 31, 2023

“Soul Service… Four Easy Edits for Keeping it Real Through Election Season,” by Susan Currie. October 11, 2016. link


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