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By Karla K. Morton
In those quiet, reflective moments many breast cancer survivors experience, carefully chosen words and phrases often provide comfort. Karla K. Morton (Poet Laureate of the State of Texas) used her personal experience with breast cancer to weave words, images, hopes, fears, anger and humility into a thoughtful collection of poems.
Redefining Beauty is the outcome of her journey. The selected poems are intimately candid, often defiantly good humored, and always crushingly honest. Photographer Walter Eagletonâ€™s black and white images together with Mortonâ€™s powerful and passionate work span her journey from survivor to warrior, presenting the reader with his or her own sense of hope and comfort.
When Morton was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2008, she searched for information to help her fight the disease. What she found were facts and statistics, and self-help books. “But I needed more,” she says. “I needed some grit, a leather strap between my teeth. And when I couldn’t find what I needed, I simply wrote my way through it.”
Throughout Redefining Beauty, Karla presents a refreshing perspective on cancer. Essentially, her poems redefine more than just what is beautiful concerning our bodies, relationships, and poetry; her use of poetic imagery allows a redefining of the disease as well. Her voice mingles beauty and ugliness, sickness and sweetness, as well as humor and fear, creating a collection that both intrigues and entertains.
Karla is the author of several upcoming books, including Becoming Superman, Names We’ve Never Known, and a collection of her works as part of the Poet Laureate series by the Texas Christian University Press. Please visit her website to learn more about her and her work.