Press

Alien Buddha Zine / Issue #27 / May 30, 2021

Alien Buddha Press Blog / SPOTLIGHT: Safety-Pinned Hearts by Charles and Brandon Carter / May 7, 2021

The Mark Literary Review – Lit These Days Podcast / “How Do You Know When a Poem is Finished?” / April 28, 2021

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast / Season 2, Episode 9 / March 27, 2021

Storm Lake Times / “SLHS English teacher publishes new poetry book” / March 12, 2021

Pilot Tribune / “SL teacher finding success as a poet” / March 12, 2021

Minute Magazine Podcast / Issue 12 / July 2020

AHC / Poetry by Charles K. Carter / April 24, 2020

Praise

“Charles K. Carter’s Salem Revisited is a proud work of humanizing protest against homophobic and transphobic violence. It’s Salem again whenever this violence appears, and this book reminds me that it takes a lot of courage to live and work and love and teach in a country that one minute can look like 2020 and another minute feel like 1693 with all of its ghosts we must remember.” – David Blair, author of Ascension Days

“Charles K. Carter’s Salem Revisited is an apt and compelling title for his book of poems, which exposes the truth of our society’s oppression and violence against those in the LGBTQ-T community. Highlighting autopsy reports from New York City to San Francisco, from campground to subway, these poems underscore that patriarchy and prejudice don’t discriminate even in the places closest to our hearts. In ‘Waiting in Line’ the phrase, ‘when you love something/you pay for it’ takes on a new and horrifying meaning. These poems unflinching music requires the reader to ask themselves, ‘In a millennia what/will those digging up these scarred/ remains think of us?’ (‘Etchings’) and force them to deal with their answers.” – Andrea England,  author of Other Geographies

“In Salem Revisited, Charles K. Carter takes on the troubling parallels between historical events and current culture. These poems are unapologetic and raw. They reach out and grab you, and they won’t let go.” – Gwen Hart, author of Lost and Found

“With economy and subtle beauty, Charles K. Carter captures the essence of the human experience packed into small moments of time. His astute observations, such as dancing one last polka with someone who has wrinkled hands, illuminate the impermanence of life, celebratory events, and love itself. Indeed, his haiku on the ebb and flow of love and the emotional roadblocks to being truly free to give and receive pure love, drives this exquisite collection. From resting in the morning light with his lover’s head on his chest, to finding solace from a broken heart in shots of whiskey, Safety-Pinned Hearts leads the reader on an adventure overflowing with recognition that this is how love, and life, is for most of us. Brandon Carter’s illustrations add an extra dose of poignancy to clarity found in Charles’s haiku.” – e.b. littlehill, author of See the Dragons

“In Splinters, Charles K. Carter carves the weight of struggles through the words like rivers through rock. These poems are the inevitable canyons. The very first in the collection, “Mother” suggests a weariness. A being who has carried the weight of the world, who has surpassed it, yet not without loss. Yet, there is comfort here. There is hope. A sign that the struggles are worth it. What can we do with the titular Splinters but to weather them off? To smooth out the trauma? Even then, those gaps remain, those tiny imperfections. But what we’ve done is enough. It has to be. We live with the wounds, but we will live on. This is the through line that vividly pulses through these poems – the kindle that ignites them all.” – Sam Jowett, author of Self

“Charles K. Carter’s heartfelt collection, Splinters, offers readers poignant glimpses of the intersections between the natural world and the human experience. Invoking a wide array of poetic traditions, Carter introduces readers to ‘the bright ones,’ then turns his eye to ‘that radio signal of hate.’ In spending time with this raw, accessible collection, readers will begin to learn ‘what hope for us there is left.’ Pulsing with love, loss, and hard-won joy, these poems are both ‘power and warning’: an exploration of what splinters us, and how we can rebuild.” – Gaia Rajan, author of Moth Funerals

“Charles K. Carter’s collection, Splinters, aims to answer the age-old question, What is love? Exploring themes such as intimacy, sexuality, family, and identity, Carter takes the reader through a hurricane of emotion. Relating weather events to daily events, Splinters a magnifying glass to examine how we interact with the world, and how the world interacts with us.” – Lynne Schmidt, author of Dead Dog Poems

“In Chasing Sunshine by Charles K. Carter, the reader is taken through an exploration of sexuality and gender through the lens of a growing child through to adulthood and the desire and search for happiness that still persists. Such themes guide this chapbook towards a beautiful, heartfelt ending. This collection speaks to the gay experience through the lens of modern society and the attacks that the entire LGBTQIA+ faces from childhood to adulthood. I particularly enjoyed the persistent usage of contrasting imagery to present the duality of the gay experience.  Desperation, lust and self-growth present a complex picture of life in the modern world as the ‘other’. The use of form in this particular chapbook is intriguing and reinforces the overarching narrative of the collection through a mix of experimental and more standardized forms. In addition, allies can learn how to better understand LGBTQIA+ people from gaining a deep, insightful and highly emotive perspective on their trials and tribulations and in particular, the sadness and abuse that comes with being an ‘outsider’. The use of bold and verbose language highlights the innate truths that follow all people who grow up facing the constraining hand of homophobia. Finally, the greatest takeaway from Charles K. Carter’s Chasing Sunshine is that it does get better! Through pain, bitter nights and yearning, Carter writes his truth, a universal truth, that love is love in this world.” – A.R. Salandy, author of The Great Northern Journey

Chasing Sunshine is an apt title for this heartfelt and often heartbreaking collection of poems that chronicles the young life of a queer poet as he struggles with finding his identity as an outlier in a straight male dominated family and world. The voice in these poems speaks for many who have had to confront an uber-male father, bullies, and a hateful culture. The reader journeys with the poet as he explores his sexuality and sensuality, finding safety where he can on the shore, in a car wash, in the arms of a lover. It is a triumphant voice, that inspires the reader, especially anyone struggling with their identity, as we all have, whatever our natural impulses and characteristics.” – Richard Stuecker, author of The Uncertainty Principle

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