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Praise for Time Crunch



"I should make my bias known: I love lyric poetry, its emotion, directness, its address of the human condition. And I hate what it's mostly become: confession, reportage, diary entries broken into verse lines that can't get off the page." read more

                                                                               —Keith Shein, A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award

"The textured and lyrically lush narratives in Time Crunch–deftly-honed poems that titillate

and resound long after their last lines—firmly establish Cathy Colman as a fierce and formidable

voice destined to be a stalwart presence in the contemporary canon."

                   —Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art




"Cathy Colman’s third collection, Time Crunch, pulses with lyric ingenuity. Deeply felt, these

poems are grounded in the mythological, the literary, the filmic, the embodied & the scientific.

The breadth of this collection’s wide enough to coax Janis Joplin, Samuel Beckett & Thelonius

Monk into the same dance with exacting choreography. She writes 'Because I have been so

many women, none of them able to sleep' and this polyphonic historical multiplicity beckons

the reader in as we are drawn through this remarkable book."

—sam sax, author of bury it



"Cathy Colman’s poems are overwhelming, inner visible, reversals of gravity, in the language

of new physics old despair new re-creation – a thin puzzling line leading smoothly…where?

Where? This poet is a bird. Keep peering at its flight. It will land."

                    —Lionel Tiger, author of God’s Brain



"Take my dirt and I’ll take/ yours,' Cathy Colman writes in Time Crunch, her terrific new collection of poems, in which language and nature spring from the same superfluency—unbound, reciprocal, hyper-aware, wildly generative, 'wearing infinity’s clothes.' Where other poets winnow, Colman adds ('Each atom goes through all possible histories')—by wit, fact and accidents of grace—to assay our brief tenure here, at the end of the world; 'At a certain point, gravity will reverse,' snapped 'back like a rubber band,' by the irreverent beauty, the risk and astonishing reach of poem after poem."

                                    —Dorothy Barresi, author of American Fanatics

Praise For Beauty’s Tattoo

“I was truly astonished at how Cathy Colman manages to modulate the poems so that their complexity remains utterly clear and vivid.”

                                                               –William Mohr, Ph.D. Department of Engish CSU Long Beach


“Cathy Colman has a real gift for metaphorical imagery - strong and tactile, bordering on the metaphorical surreal - like Plath and Denis Johnson.” 

                           –Campbell McGrath, MacArthur Fellow

"Here’s a book you will not put down. Like climbing ‘a fiery stairway’, or finding the unlikely ‘encounter between a piano and a Rothko’ in a garden, like entering ‘Kafka’s garage’ or ‘floating down the highway/in a snowstorm’ Cathy Colman’s stunning second poetry collection, Beauty’s Tattoo enters a place of fearlessness. Her contemporary range of topics excites the gallery of possibility, and there, emerging from a ‘fugitive kind’ of exile, the body’s wild card is played against the mind in a  kind of self-reflecting dissonance and philosophical insight that can only belong to beauty and its many incarnations. Edgy and simultaneously elegant, Colman’s language is always musically and imagistically alive like a snake at both ends: it works like consciousness overhearing itself. Beauty’s Tattoo is moving and funny. One thinks of Andre Breton’s concept of passion (Colman’s 'passion like water' floods these poems and carries them far into our memory), with its wild magnificent eyes having to 'mix in the human struggle' in order to be authentic, to be troubled by beauty, to be known and known again."

                              –Elena Karina Byrne, author of Squander


“I’ve been an admirer of Cathy Colman’s work for over 15 years now; her intoxicating blend of stop-in-your-tracks imagery, her lettuce-crisp diction, the mixture of Eros, imagination, and longing. These new poems courageously step into the darkness and emerge with beads of light.”

                                  -Jeffery McDaniel, author of Splinter Factory



“Although the realms of dream and desire permeate the poems in Cathy Colman’s ravishing new collection, Beauty’s Tattoo, it is the way experience itself marks us that this book so powerfully envisions. Cathy Colman shows us how living leaves the evidence of its passage along the length of our bodies, both without, and within. The many poems cast as letters in this collection are emblematic of one of the book’s central ambitions—to establish a potent, rock-solid bridge of intimacy between the poet and her readers. Colman’s exquisite poems are epistles to the past, reflections upon the future, and heart-breaking meditations upon the metaphysics of daily transcendence.”

                                                                             -David St. John, author of The Last Troubadour: Selected and New Poems

Praise For Borrowed Dress

"'Why can’t we be content,' Cathy Colman writes, 'with the nothing that holds it all together?' These fresh and restless poems are tracings of discontent, but these are the dissatisfactions of a sensuous, lively, and engaged mind worrying out a way of seeing the world. In poems of love and trouble, energy and charm, Borrowed Dress chronicles a passionate involvement with 'beautiful ruin, broken form.'"

                                                           -Mark Doty, Citation for the 2001 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry


"There is an exquisite poise to Cathy Colman’s gorgeous and powerful debut collection, Borrowed Dress. Her sly humor is balanced always by her darkly illuminating candor. Here is a poet who is both discrete and delicate in her craft yet deeply compelling and passionate in her reckonings. This is a book to treasure."

                                                                               -David St. John, author of The Last Troubadour: Selected and New Poems


"A book full of surprises; I kept murmuring ‘Oh my God’ when reading it. Vivid and clear and almost shockingly lush, Borrowed Dress is written from the ‘unholy fix we’re in’ with such vitality that I believe its enterprise: ‘trying to get the ineffable to talk’ is on the verge of actually happening.”

            -Marie Howe, author of Magdelene

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