Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
In the midst of a grief-induced existential crisis, the author came to question her faith and her belief in God. This curiosity led her to a seminary, a Bible study and a Zen center. Under the guidance of Buddhist monks, she began to write. She was also introduced to an Irish poet who breathed new life into the collect, a poetic form of prayer she recited weekly in liturgy, but had never really appreciated.
In several of his collects, the poet centered biblical women who, in the traditional telling of Gospel narratives, were pushed to the periphery. As he shared his work, the author felt an energy and rootedness in the sacred text that was whole, inclusive, and right. This ancient form of prayer allowed her to discern and name her desires around an evolving faith and her place in the world. With the help of an Episcopal priest and a community of people who offered a safe space for questions, doubt, anger, and unfolding, she read the familiar words of scripture with new eyes and found herself in every story.
Prayers of an Ordinary Goddess is a debut collection of collects. Part one tells the story of the author’s spiritual journey, and part two are collects of mundanity that surfaced along the way. They are offered as a reclamation of the wisdom and truth found in ancient sacred texts and a more expansive imagining of the mystery called God.
Karen McGee is an aspiring poet, essayist and public theologian, who also works for a professional football team. This is her first chapbook. She started writing poetry and nonfiction essays during the pandemic and her work has appeared online in The Sunlight Press, Fauxmoir, and Coastal Shelf, and in the poetry anthology, Close Up: Poems on Cancer, Grief, Hope and Healing. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and can be found on Instagram @karenpmcgee.