Kate Colby

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Kate Colby, 2016

Kate Colby (born 1974, Boston) is an American poet and essayist. She grew up in Massachusetts and received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University[1] and an MFA from California College of the Arts. In 1997, she moved to San Francisco,[2] where she worked for several years as a curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, on the board of The LAB art space, and later as a grant writer and copyeditor. In 2008, she moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she currently works as a copywriter and editor,[3] and serves on the board of the Gloucester Writers Center in Massachusetts.

Her work has appeared in Aufgabe,[4] Bennington Review, Columbia Poetry Review, New American Writing, No: A Journal of the Arts, The Rumpus, Verse and The Volta, and has been featured at the RISD, deCordova and Isabella Stewart Gardner museums.



Poetry Books[edit]

  • Fruitlands. Litmus Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0-9723331-9-1.
  • Unbecoming Behavior. Ugly Duckling Presse. 2008. ISBN 978-1-933254-40-1.
  • Beauport. Litmus Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-933959-11-5.
  • The Return of the Native. Ugly Duckling Presse. 2011. ISBN 978-1-933254-77-7.
  • Blue Hole. Furniture Press. 2015. ISBN 978-1-940092-11-9.
  • I Mean. Ugly Duckling Presse. 2015. ISBN 978-1-937027-45-2.
  • The Arrangements. Four Way. 2018. ISBN 978-1-945588-21-1


Selected Poetry and Essays[edit]

Selected Interviews and Recordings[edit]


Besides Colby’s interesting thematic projects, Fruitlands bears smaller traces of her fingerprints: her obsession with the color blue, the quote she uses from one of my favorite Built to Spill songs (No one wants to hear / what you dreamt about / unless you dreamt about / them), her references to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruno Schulz. These moments are so delightful and unique, they feel comfortably inscrutable. Or, just as likely, I realized there was something harsh, even disingenuous, in asking the question “why?” when they felt just right.[5]

Kate Colby's Unbecoming Behavior examines Jane Bowles’ biography through an imaginative parsing of sensory detail, autobiographical detail and critique of creative process. The long poem is as engaging and resonant as the subject matter is rich.[6]

Beauport : "This book-length poem in fractured verse and resonant, brief blocks of prose shares Sleeper's title and some of his goals, making seaside New England and its history (sailing ships, merchant princes; injustice, philanthropy) look unpredictable from room to room. " [7]

The Return of the Native: This American-centered dialogue is both familiar and disorienting, both urban and pastoral, so that the reader is never exactly certain where she is or what she is supposed to feel.[8]

Blue Hole: “Kate Colby’s poems unfurl like a complex melody. You wander through the day with them, following the loop of tune. ‘Everything might already exist,’ she writes, ‘but it hasn’t all been found.’ ....Colby’s robust intelligence and her vulnerability make for a poetry that has durable, if evolving, meaning."-Elizabeth Robinson[9]

I Mean: Using its title anaphoristically and clocking in at nearly 70 pages, the title poem is a tight, nimble, and wide-ranging work that manages to, in the author's words, "pile words up/ and wrap the referents around them" in a remarkably fun and conceptually virtuosic way.[10]

The Arrangements: "Counteractions, counterindications, and impossible interactions mark this meticulously crafted and sonically alluring seventh collection from Colby (I Mean). ... Readers may come away from this collection with simultaneous feelings of dread and wisdom, as well as a deep admiration for Colby’s almost obsessively focused eye for detail."[11]


External links[edit]