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“These are words that will not stay still, words rich with themselves and their urgency to move us, not just emotionally but physically. They prod and they poke and they run, making us leap after them. These poems even in their quietest moments are always traveling, always on the move, and we are taken with them, happily, sadly, importantly. ‘sometimes/simply the clothes upon one’s back come to constitute an address….’: with this early warning, we move into the mix of ourselves.” -- Alberto Ríos
"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
"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.”
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 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
"The ambitious centerpiece of Katrina Roberts's THE QUICK is 'Cantata," a poem in ten parts that chronicles the body's journey from conception through birth, combining Bishop's concision with Whitman's vision. A new mother song that is vital, tough, transcendent, and real." -- Dorianne Laux
"Like the title of this brilliant collection, these poems reveal a quick linguistic dexterity as they expose the raw and most sensitive flesh of human earthiness. But there is nothing quick or surface about these elegant poems. Expect to linger as you would to welcome the missive of 'a heron [who] dips into a quiet pool/the wind has made of sticks,' or to ponder the miracle of birth." -- Joy Harjo
"No spare, modest lyrics here; Katrina Roberts's coloratura debut is a fully orchestrated, full-throated performance -- bold, inclusive, and sure. Discarding Modernist principles of economy, Roberts puts everything in, ransacking the dictionaries, the etymologies, the storehouses of formal variation. The result is a big, fresh poetry, smart and painterly and passionate, which brings new attention to old verities: the surprise and ache of desire, the struggle for tenderness, the longings of 'this body I want to still in its steady falling.'" -- Mark Doty
CLMP: Firecracker Award
Poets & Writers , "Best Books for Writers"
BECAUSE YOU ASKED listed on the Poets & Writers site in "Best Books for Writers: From the newly published to the invaluable classic, our list of essential books for creative writers."