By Kate Colby


Litmus Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Design by E. Tracy Grinnell, Cover photo: Orchard House c. 1865 courtesy of the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association
Edition, Year
First Edition, 2006
In Print

Winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award

Taking its title from the transcendentalist utopian community founded by Bronson Alcott, Fruitlands offers its own visionary perspective on contemporary life. In this collection, cultural work is social innovation, and Kate Colby produces and decomposes identity, history, and narrative through fully engaged aesthetic practice. While Fruitlands views the architectural or urban plan from the vantage of an Archimedean point, it inverts the telescope to record transformative and occasionally anarchic encounters on the human scale. Colby maps out exciting possibilities for poetry and other spaces of representation in this stunning debut.

— Paul Foster Johnson

Kate Colby
Kate Colby is author of seven books of poetry and a book of critical lyric essays. She has received awards and fellowships from the Poetry Society of America, Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, the Dodd ... Read More

Most compelling and strange and beautiful is when her poems transform their prosy, scientific minded selves and strike out with unabashed humanness…

— Sommer Browning, Cutbank


Praise for Fruitlands

Under pressure, under duress, being a creature of habit caught in the sudden glare of utopic wishfulness, one wakes up in Fruitlands, smuggled inside Colby’s intriguing and recombinant language of surveillance, pulled into suggested routes of survival and eco-linguistic liberties in a century you suddenly desire

— Kathleen Fraser

Fruitlands is an ambitious and astonishing first book which, though it knows that it cannot resolve the complexities of our world, [it] nevertheless tries to give them form. Its brilliant and precise language does indeed “figure the problem (not figure out).”

— Rosmarie Waldrop

Kate Colby has a gift for blending observation with lyric energy and wit. Capturing the world through a constantly shifting frame, these poems urge us to consider the difference between the ‘false spring’ and the real one. Colby’s field of reference ranges from Hofstadter to Schwarzenegger, and her ambitious title poem will leave you reeling.

— Elizabeth Willis

We Also Recommend

By Kate Colby
The Words: After Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories and Jean-Paul Sartre
By Carla Harryman
Around Sea
By Brenda Iijima

Dedicated support from individual readers like you funds our day-to-day operations and enables the programming we undertake in direct service to the visionary writers and artists whose works we champion.