katrina roberts

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"A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring." ~ William Carlos Williams

photo credit: kimberly miner

"Not all poets can love a world as alternately beautiful and decayed as ours, and not all poems can sustain us with the complex, far-reaching vision and hope we need. But in Katrina Roberts we have a poet who companions herself to hard histories, to ancient proverbs, and to her own family, and finds in each an endurance to save us into the next day’s reckoning. Underdog is a book that sees, that sees and goes on in spite of what it consequently discerns--which is, we accept, the only way to stay alive."

-- Katie Ford, author of Colosseum: Poems

"In Katrina Roberts’ limber hands ‘underdog’ means heroic, it means comic and incendiary, earthly and ascendant: ‘the quotidian marrying the mythic.’ I finished this terrific book feeling I’d witnessed countless feats of transformation, countless revelatory assaults on the commonplace. Only a poet this assured and restless could make our ordinary world an enchantment. These are generous, resonating poems.”

-- Terrance Hayes, author of Lighthead, winner of the National Book Award.

"Katrina Roberts is a poet of wise abundance, spending it all, saving nothing, whose words I trust to mine and mind their ever-generative sources."

-- Lia Purpura

Katrina Roberts’ Friendly Fire is a fresh, elegant, and serious poetic triumph. These poems, while introspective, speak of the world, and the reader develops a deep connection with the sensibility and mystery behind them. Katrina Roberts is the kind of poet who knows how to nurture the energies of pleasure and grief, ecstasy and despair, and bring them fully formed to the page. She explores the hidden places, discovers them and invents them. What she asks of birds might be asked of her poems: “. . . Where did the birds find this filament? Such /​ active circling and weaving; the dervish love calls /​ into being . . .” These poems are convincing and ample testimony to the truths of time and mortality, and Katrina Roberts is a poet of remarkable gifts.

—Laura Kasischke

"Katrina Roberts’ new poems [in Friendly Fire] are wonderfully readable and engrossing, because they are so true to our conscious experience, making swift and credible transitions between perception, memory, reflection, worry, and well-being. Life is both sweet and anxious in these poems, which makes them the more real, and the pervading theme of fire has the ambiguity of Shakespeare’s 'Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.'"

—Richard Wilbur

"Katrina Roberts’ poems do not admit easy phrasings; instead, they are assembled word by word, each chosen with informed deliberation and a sense of pace. I have followed the track of her lines with heightened attention, eager for her next surprise."

—Billy Collins

Selected Works

Published by the University of Washington Press, June 2011; the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series. Finalist for the Washington State Book Award, 2012. Paperback: October 2013.
Chosen by Linda Bierds for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series & Finalist for the Washington State Book Award
Winner of the Peregrine Smith Prize in Poetry
Winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry; selected by Robin Becker; finalist for the Washington State Book Award.