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Out From Calaboose

Reviews & Testimonials 

Herceg is capable of creating the kind of unique imagery that makes great lines memorable.

---Benjamin Schmitt of AT THE INKWELL 


                                                   Full Review Here



The poems seem to start from somewhere deep in the body—a place below skin and bone. Though rooted deep in human emotions – love, loss, pain, and loneliness, there is always something bigger than the individual: the natural world, and even beyond that, a kind of permanent space of peacefulness against the shifting chaos of human flaws. 

---Magdalena Ball of COMPULSIVE READER


                                                   Full Review Here (Reprint @



The poems move across a very broad terrain, like a travelogue through space and time, through seasons, and across milestones. Even at its darkest, and it does get very dark at times, there are flashes of humour in the wry commentary; the poems turning back onto themselves...



                                                 Full Review Here

Herceg explores every prison you could encounter- being bogged down in the material world, bound to another person, your past, the reality of what is while miring yourself in thoughts of what could have been. Herceg’s imagination stretches the mundane, escapes the confines of the physical and beautifully describes ugliness at every turn.



                                                Full Review Here 


Often it is a pronounced sense of wonder that makes poets like Karen Corinne Herceg...

---Janet Hamill, poet, Nominee Pushcart Prize & William Carlos Williams Prize


Out From Calaboose is a marvelous, skillful, and evocative work. 

---Dr. David Austell, Columbia University, Author of Little Creek and Other Poems and Garuda and New Poems of Astral Planes


Valuing truth, she plumbs deep and gives what we can relate to, not with psychological facileness but with the understanding achieved by staying true to the glimmers she always has had of her essence. We can identify with her personal journey and learn through her art. How refreshing!

---Roberta Gould, Poet, from the Foreword (


This is a remarkable work, a Virginia Woolf moment stretched into a book of poems, or a Whitman's rumination that refuses to come to an end, enamored as it is by life's ongoing rush.

---Yuyutsu Sharma, Himalayan Poet & Author of Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems and A Blizzard in My Bones: New York Poems

OUT FROM CALABOOSE is a terrific and powerful book without a misplaced syllable.

---Richard Martin, Poet, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Recipient


Ms. Herceg's writing has only in the past year (2017) begun to grace the world-wide audience of "Passionate Justice" and already she is a favorite for the bold courage of her topics, for how she makes the social and political so deeply personal, often achingly, and for her clear commitment to interpersonal and societal justice. She writes with precision, depth, and feeling. "Passionate Justice" and Our Salon Radio hope to present her work for a very long time to come.

---Jonathan Wolfman: Author, Radio Host of “Passionate Justice” at Glickman Digital Radio/APRI Broadcasting


Thank you for contributing your excellent poem "Alto Sax" to our Ground Fresh Thursday series. We are glad to have you and your work as part of the GFT Press family. I personally hope to see more work from you in the  future.      

---Jack Daniel Miles: Editor-in-chief, GFT Press


(Her) poem (“Lake Tear of the Clouds”) has such a strong original voice, and yet is reminiscent of Walt Whitman and his celebratory lists of the wonders of our world.

---Jean LeBlanc: Executive Editor, Paulinskill Poetry Project


With candor and poise, Karen Corinne Herceg reveals a facet of desiring motherhood...with “Two Olives Please.”

---Maria Scala, Editor-in-Chief, Literary Mama


“Her work is poignant, biting, tender, and pertinent.”

---Marina Mati, Hudson Valley Howl  Podcast Host, Poet


Karen Corinne Herceg's recent emergence on the Hudson Valley poetry circuit (2015) is proof that serious wordsmiths are out there, and when the time is right, we can meet them. Herceg's poetry has honesty and a sane, healing quality.  As a poet she fulfills one of the most crucial needs of our troubled age: Truth-seeking. There is no pretense in Herceg's approach, and the vulnerability of her words is a breath of clean autumn air after a long, heavy summer.

---Robert Milby, Poet & Hudson Valley, NY poetry series host, Orange County, NY Poet Laureate 2017-19

In Karen Corinne Herceg’s preface to "Inner Sanctions," (her first book) she states: "The poem is not meant to protect us.  Rather the poem is a wound we expose, a physical evidence, an exorcism.  It buffers that fine balance of individual sanity we must all seek alone." Herceg’s inner sanctions are the place where she, as a poet, experiences those wounds and begins the work of healing.  In the process, she ratifies and confirms something which is sacred to each of us: our feelings of worth in relation to the world of unworthy experience. Her poems regularly seek to find balance in a world which deals us an uncertain hand, and which goes by so quickly it almost eludes us.  They are flashes of insight, quick reflections, attempts to seize a lasting image in the ever-turning, kaleidoscopic tumult of individual experience.  When she arrives finally at her truths, she reveals to us the underlying patterns and connections which hold that world together and are its real beauty. When I read Herceg, I think I am reading between the lines of a universal soul while, at the same time, catching very real glimpses of my own.

---Lisa Fleck Dondiego, Poet, Author of A Sea Change


Karen Corinne Herceg’s poems exorcise demons, wring out their vulnerabilities, and fling them into the ether.  Her poetry is about survival after much soul searching.  Stay tuned for this poet’s future work.

---Donna Reis, Poet, Pushcart Prize Nominee, Author of No Passing Zone


The poems are like quilting squares - each stands alone, complete, but hinting at something larger. Taken together they feel almost like a memoir. Each poem reveals just enough without telling too much and without slipping into sentimentality. All quite an achievement.

---Juliana Woodhead, Poetry Editor, The Writing Disorder


Karen Herceg’s work is wonderfully macabre, spine-tingling…a joy to read.  It was a pleasure to share her poetry in our magazine.

---Tess Tabak and e.kirshe, Editors, The Furious Gazelle


" honest and raw..."

---The Editors, Luna Luna Magazine


With rich metaphorical descriptions, Herceg's honest writing bridges the gap between cultural subconscious and personal experience.

         Zoe Siegel, Editor, Lunch Ticket/Antioch University

OUT FROM CALABOOSE now included in the library of "The Harriet Staff" of  

The Poetry Foundation located in Chicago, IL and is a recommended book by Valparaiso Poetry Review now included in the Columbia Alumni Association's "Bookshelf" of recommended books

Reader Reviews

Re "A Wake of Frogs"--

"A thoroughly enjoyable read. A remarkably well-written poem."

"Few poems keep my complete interest. This writing falls into categories of

admiration and smiling approval of this creative mind. A city girl, the winter chore, the metaphor of frogs and unfortunate soldiers. Memories frozen over with no future...Yes indeed. Fantastic 10."



Re "Metropolitan Fault"--

"An aerial view allows for height--your eyes supply the vision."



Re "Two Olives, Please"--

Are you kidding me? This is an amazing window into a world revealed. I have no idea where to start. I will say this. If you care about the sensitivity of some poets you must delete this gem. I am afraid that they may be discouraged from ever writing again. Between swish and clink. The loosened tongue. 'Did you know, and so it begins.' Wide eyed revelation. I was delivered there and what more can a reader or writer hope for?"



Re "Toulon, 1971"--

" admiration for each line brings to me a bitter-sweet feeling of appreciation and sadness."



Re "The Rest"--

Slid in like bakers trays. We stop, reflect and go on. Pity, remorse, regret, love...and silence. We go on, what else can we do?"

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