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
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