Kate Colby ’96 is the author of two new poetry collections. The first, Beauport (Litmus Press), gets its inspiration from the life of a whimsical decorator and designer Henry Davis Sleeper, the author’s memoires of her New England upbringing, and lithographs by Currier & Ives of the Victorian-era leisure class. Beauport was a seaside mansion, now called the Sleeper-McCann House, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, created about a century ago by Sleeper.
In a review of the book on New Pages.com, Angela Veronica Wong writes: “These are poems of quiet beauty, wielding power through lovely simplicity. They wander through ideas and memories, they explore what is lost and what is learned in the process of becoming a person. Colby is concerned with this question of memory and loss, and the ensuing idea of ‘to miss’ something or someone.”
Colby is also the author of The Return of the Native (Ugly Ducking Presse), a series of 23 poems that enacts a struggle between the romance of recorded history and the social conditions of the global present. The collection’s topical threads involve New England colonial, American folk, and Native American history; the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts; and the specious gloss of American ‘road’culture, all filtered through a fine mesh of Thomas Hardy.