Kate Durbin
        Kate Durbin is—in her words—a  “woman/poet” who “shits words, vomits them like someone else’s bile out of her mouth, she craps them from her pen, she rubs them into her hide, she paints them across her lips.”  Her poems (in her words) are “one-eyed, three-limbed, throbbing, makeshift monsters made of old bones.” 
        Whether imagining the desert island life of a stranded Amelia Earhart or re-inventing the story of Hänsel and Gretel or Samson and Delilah or exploring the erotic underside of Sarah Palin or the loneliness of Marilyn Monroe (or Marilyn’s medicine cabinet or her wardrobe), Kate Durbin’s poems shine like garish Las Vegas lights mercilessly exposing what’s gorgeous and hideous in this world. I squirmed a little when I read the poem about the felt Jesus that keeps falling down; I squirmed a little when I read the poem about the girl who, after being violated by her father, runs deep in the forest. . . but I won’t give away what happens then. Kate Durbin’s is a poetry of atrocities, and words are her only salvation.
        Kate was born in San Diego and raised in Washington, California and Arizona. She received her MFA from the University of California, Riverside, and her book, The Ravenous Audience, has just come out. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but this book is every bit as satisfying as its cover is intriguing. In extensive notes at the end of the collection, Kate tells us that many of her poems have been inspired by works of art—film, sculpture, glossy magazine articles. Like many artists, she has found inspiration in art just as much as in life, having ravenously consumed a hundred films, books and exhibits, and much low art as well. All this has gestated in her—and churned, and boiled—and given rise to a fresh, brassy, monstrous and unique creation.

S & D

First published in The Ravenous Audience, Akashic Books, 2009.

© 2009 Kate Durbin
Kate Durbin was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the September 2009 Second Sunday Poetry Series