By Kate Durbin
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
ISBN# 9781950268139 (5.5 x 8.25, 184pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781950268146 (5.5 x 8.25, 184pp, limited edition hardcover)
Hoarders, Durbin deftly traces the associations between hoarding and collective US traumas rooted in consumerism and the environment. Each poem is a prismatic portrait of a person and the beloved objects they hoard, from Barbies to snow globes to vintage Las Vegas memorabilia to rotting fruit to plants. Using reality television as a medium, Durbin conjures an uncanny space of attachments that reflects a cultural moment back to the reader in ways that are surreal and tender. In the absurdist tradition of Kafka and Beckett, Hoarders ultimately embraces with sympathy the difficulty and complexity of the human condition.
Though the swift-moving spectacle of the television show invites viewers to cast easy judgment on these hoarders, Durbin employs poetry's slower speed to show a more complicated picture. Instead of using [these stories] to make us feel better about ourselves for not being hoarders, she indicts aspects of American culture we all participate in—religion, capitalism—and reveals our complicity, all the while dropping a lot of sight gags in the process.
—Rich Smith, The Stranger
An absurd, bracingly funny depiction of the misery of consumerism—but also something tenderer, about the attachments that make up a life.
—Lit Hub, Most Anticipated Books of 2021
Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist. Her books of poetry include E! Entertainment, The Ravenous Audience, and ABRA, which won the 2017 international Turn On Literature Prize. Durbin was the Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence in Brisbane, Australia in 2015. Her art and writing have been featured in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, the Believer, BOMB, poets.org, the American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She has shown her artwork nationally and internationally at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, The PULSE Art Fair in Miami, MOCA Los Angeles, the SPRING/BREAK Art Show in Los Angeles, peer to space in Berlin, and more.
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