Poetry Book

New Title

"QUIVER" is in print
Now available!
Please contact me at the email address below for a copy now that Small Press Distribution services are no longer available.
Publisher: Tebot Bach

Book epigraph by Gerard De Nerval: "Look around you, everything quivers with being."

Sharon Carter’s poems reveal an astonishing sensibility, a voice that probes the intimate life of the body — personal, cultural, history itself — with the exactness of a scalpel. The heart stutters on, she tells us, and she would know. As a physician, she became attuned to the crack and groan of the human body: illness and death rising like birdsong from the throat; women in labor; fissures on an iced-over lake like the blight of a mammogram. Her meditations are nuanced, droll, clear sighted; alert to the marvels of the earth and its ruin; layered with bravado, bees, and longing. Women do this, she affirms: deliver babies, make poems, resurrect the dead. I find myself standing back with admiration. “May light from the farthest galaxy/arrive before too long,” she writes. Amen. —KATHRYN HUNT, author of a "Long Way Through Ruin" and "Seed Wheel"

Sharon Carter’s poems honor the fragility of our flesh, our bones and our psyches. Whether about treating a young boy’s infected finger (“A red line reaches for his armpit/For his life”) or considering blame (On winter nights when coyotes sob/ among the pines/and the moon never rises”), about a loss in pregnancy (“How to be grateful for what is/than struggle over what never was”), or footsteps (“our footsteps clatter in couplets”), they are masterfully astute and, above all, honest. Sharon Carter’s collection displays the feat of a fine poet who meets one’s life on its own terms and reaches in to evoke the universal human experience. —SHEILA BENDER, author of "A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief"

About image
Welcome to my website, celebrating poetry, drawing and a new chapbook.

I grew up in a previously flourishing Lancashire seaside resort. I worked various part time jobs from age fourteen, the least favorite being a chamber maid. Art and chemistry were my favorite subjects at high school. Benefitting from free British education I studied medical sciences, attending Cambridge University and London's St Mary's Hospital medical school. I trained first in family practice then in psychiatry, attracted to its unique challenges.

I immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1970's moving to Washington state to raise two daughters. I decided to stay. I've worked for non-profits during my career and recently retired from a part-time volunteer medical position.

Early on I traveled extensively on a shoe-string budget while in college, then overland for six months to Afghanistan, Iran, India, Nepal in my late twenties. A staffing post in 2005 on the Semester at Sea circumnavigated the earth. I revisited several countries and witnessed the consequences of population growth and pollution.

The Hedgebrook Foundation and Jackstraw Writers program generously provided valuable experience during my early writing career. Since then I have been a co-editor of an online literary magazine and one of four poets producing a reading series. My visual art and poetry has been accepted in many print magazines and online, including the Raven Chronicles award winning anthology: Take a Stand: Art Against Hate, Strange Fruit, Exhibition, Pontoon, Poetry on the Buses, Ars Medica, Terra Nova, Heliotrope, and The Madrona Project volume 3.

A completed blog exists at: https://sharonmcarter.blogspot.com/  to provide background details and additional visual art related to poems featured in the chapbook.  Sometimes poems led to a visual interpretation, or the reverse occurred. I hope you enjoy my work.

If you need prompt ideas: Look around you, everything you see quivers with being, the book's epigraph advises. Pay attention.

Quiver may be purchased at ​https://www.spdbooks.org/​​​
POEMS imagePOEMS image
Two King County Metro Bus Poems:


Ancient astronomers once thought
Earth center of our universe.
I know now this is untrue—
Mount Tahoma is the constant
heart, suspended
between Heaven and Earth.

When midnight comes, pearl fishers
trawl its black canopy; the moon
concealed in a cratered cloak
studies us with a silver eye.


Weathered russet, charcoal and bone-
white streaks bleed across the fractured planes
of wind-sculpted rock. Sediments contain
a million years of memory, each stone
pressed against another, like two lovers thrown
together. In the struggle to retain
separate lives, our boundaries are much the same-
in truth we seldom stand alone.
We’ve learned to lean a little for support-
the faults and folds of ingrained habits mean
our edges sometimes aren’t a perfect fit.
Though years of wind and rain distort
the matrix of our lives, the mortar in between
the crack is where our strength exists.


Slag heaps backdrop our clinic,
hunched labor from another history.
We live in coal country—poverty,
pit deaths, black lung.
The boy appears after hours,
an eight-year-old sapling,
swollen thumb.
A needle-sized sliver spears
his nail into the pulp.
A pus bead gleams at entry.
By now all sobbing has passed,
his digit beyond tweezers
and patience.
A red line reaches for his armpit.
For his life.
His flushed face turns toward me,
fever, not summer heat.
He turns, trusting.

Port Townsend

Clouds lift. Brief sun
on Cascade’s winter summits,
herald Orca’s teeth.
Researchers say Miocene bears
once harvested these beaches.
Today strewn with sea-washed cedars,
upended root balls claw air.

Shelved, a mammoth tooth.
Baleen, ribs.
And Hope, the Orca.
Her skeleton hangs
from roof beams.
Her charted demise:
toxic levels of PCB’s.
A Brucellosis infection.
Poor Hope.

Outside children created a lobster
from a carbonated soda bottle,
beer cap, string.
A cassette crab legs crouch
on single-use plastic straws.


For C.C.

Each time she looks
at the moon it seems further
away    his face
stitched to the sky—
only a sliver
of bone    remains.
The son she lost    in the desert
escaping to America.
Heat and thirst    drove
the life from him.    Sand
bleaching the past.
Night sky’s   thumbtacked map
showing someone else’s future
two empty dippers
one pointing   to El Norte.
She searched hospital records
shelters    jails  unclaimed
dead   personal effects—
an unmatched
pants button    sewn
before he left. Proof.
Two holes    one through each
side of her heart.

First published in the Raven Chronicles Anthology, Take a Stand: Art Against Hate. *

  •  11/13/2024 19:00
  • Online Event

Join us for a 7 person online reading: all alumni of the Jackstraw Reading series who have had collections published in the last two years. Also including: Jamaica Baldwin, Larry Crist, Danielle Bero, Jory Mickelson, Emily Perez and Lana Hechtman Ayers

  •  8/20/2023 15:00

I'll be reading on August 20th with Sheila Bender and Samantha Della-DeVoney. See details for the complete series!! :https://www.wilderbeefarm.com/poetryseries

  •  7/13/2023 20:00
  • Online Event
  • Olympic Peninsula, Washington, United States

If you need to contact me please fill out the adjacent form and I'll do my best to be prompt.