Finding her voice

Karin Temple Poetry

Karin Temple makes sense of the senseless in verse

By Felicia Struve, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

After being diagnosed with Stage III colorectal cancer in October 2018, Karin Temple says, “I had no choice. I needed to write about it.”

The result is Life, Still and Again, a collection of 14 poems about Temple’s journey through cancer treatment.

The book is a collaboration of Temple, book designer Lucien Swerdloff and the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative. It features photographs by Justin Grafton of scenes around the Cancer Collaborative. 

“Some of these poems I labored on, and some — they were just there,” she says. “A poem is a container — like artwork — and when you can contain something, that is already a triumph.”

Temple’s seventh book, Life, Still and Again, touches on the way cancer changes time and place, the sense of being betrayed by one’s own body, the sorrows of losing friends to cancer, the joy in everyday moments, and the eventuality of death.

The Cancer Collaborative intends to share the book with patients. To listen to Temple reading the poems, visit

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