Bio

Books

Samples available on the samples page.

Delicate Thefts

“These stunning, brilliant poems strike true. They sometimes bite, and they often draw blood. The range of emotion in them is fearless, sometimes disturbing. But there’s beauty at the beating heart of every one of them, a craft that never falters. This woman’s voice dares to plunge so deeply into where, as Lucinda Williams sings, “the spirit meets the bone,” that I am in awe of them. If you have any doubt that Debra Kaufman is one of our best contemporary American poets, then read this collection.”
--Kathryn Stripling Byer, author of Descent, Coming to Rest, Catching Light from LSU Press

To order a copy, visit Jacar Press



The Next Moment

"Kaufman's poems trace a journey of passion, emotional turmoil, loss and reconfiguration, sometimes in natural settings of almost mystical beauty. The smart, passionate, self-questioning poems of the book's opening move to the father's death that is the core of this work. Out of that loss, Kaufman comes into "This Moment," a last section that shimmers with acceptance, understanding, and the beauty of a world where a boy playing in leaves tosses "armfuls of color upward/like sparks." This collection is a journey that sings—fugue, lament, and finally hymn of muted celebration."
--Betty Adcock, Winner of the NC Award in Literature

To order a copy, visit Jacar Press



A Certain Light

"Kaufman demonstrates a kind of inventiveness that recalls the poetry of Lisel Mueller. One example is the conceit of "At Aunt Emma's Table," where a set of silverware takes on the characteristics of a family; another is "After Reading Rumpelstiltskin to My Son," Kaufman's deconstruction of that troubling fairy tale...A Certain Light is imaginative, humane, and often compelling--a distinguished book."
--Robert West, Oyster Boy Review

To order a copy,







Still Life Burning

"Debra Kaufman's poetry is tough in a good way. She writes with a cool economy. Many of the situations portrayed here are what we might call negative. But they are drawn so that the positives shine through--such virtues as endurance, patience, willingness to listen, acceptance, and courage by the pailful. I admire this collection and I salute this poet."
--Fred Chappell

"I especially like the poems that recreate a sense of childhood...There is an urgency of witness and confession in the narrative voice that leads us to some further recognition. We see that poems are like scars, permanent scars, written on us by fate, as well as by those we love."
--Robert Morgan

Still Life Burning is out of print.


Family of Strangers

"Ms. Kaufman's poetry is marked by a quiet unfolding of scene and character...Her poems [are] subtle in authority and intelligence."
--Robert Hedin

"These poems are intensely personal and very good. Kaufman introduces us to various family members and lovers--all are made real and immediate. Each of these poems is an experience transformed into exciting images."
--A. J. Wright, Dusty Dog

"Kaufman writes about what I love best: characters and family...[She] writes her way into our hearts."
--Dannye Romine, Charlotte Observer

Some copies available from Alibris Books.


Moon Mirror Whiskey Wind

"The book is full of quality work...The poem "A Marriage" is a fantastic lesson in just how much meaning and emotion can be carried by the mere sounds of words. It comes as no surprise to those who know her career that Kaufman is capable of such virtuosity in her poetry. There is much to admire in this poem, as there is in the collection as a whole."
--Scott Owens, Main Street Rag

To order a copy,