Words from a member

You and the entire membership of Netwest have been an inspiration to me in my writing life. The group is a welcoming & encouraging gathering of like-people. Thank you for all you've done for others. It does not go unnoticed.
Nancy Purcell

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

From "Untying the Knot" to Happily Ever After

 Good News for a Netwest County Rep and Poet

Hi, this is Karen Paul Holmes. Anyone who has read my poetry probably feels like they know me, and so Glenda Beall has asked me to post this. When we all get to meet in person again and you see me beaming, you'll know why. 

My first poetry collection, Untying the Knot, is like a memoir of experiencing and healing from the trauma of divorce after 32 years of marriage. At the end are poems of finding happiness with a new man. But that ended with his sudden death after six years together. Those of you who attended Writers' Night Out several years ago in Towns County, GA met that wonderful man. 

Now there's a very special person in my life, whom some of you had the pleasure of meeting at WNO last season. My new husband Mark Shaver is a lover of poetry, opera, and BBQ in the mountains, just like me! We married last Sunday in an intimate ceremony, having had to cancel our bigger wedding due to COVID. And yes, I am writing poems about him. I even read one at our wedding. I am now a big believer in late-life marriages. 

By the way, my second book, No Such Thing As Distance continues the story in poetry of my family and me, including Macedonian recipes. I was lucky enough to have poems from it read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac and by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith on her insightful podcast, The Slowdown. Take a listen if you're so inclined! 

FYI: My addresses in the mountains and the city are the same, and I'm keeping my last name. 


  1. Thanks, Karen, for sharing your great news. I know that all of us who know you are delighted that you have met and married Mark, a person who was meant for you, it seems. Congratulations to both of you!

  2. Congratulations, Karen and Mark. I wish you the very best. I'm glad you two met, fell in love, and got married. I can't wait until COVID-19 is over so I can give you a great big hug!


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