EP81circleSun Damage
Kate Colby

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By way of beauty and aging, math and mirrors, Sun Damage locates the velvet ropes between language and understanding, where “a conundrum is a semantic impasse, not an actual condition of the world.” What are the proportions of the self, and to what extent might one measure the blur of the body through self-observation, self- erosion, or self-reflection? Kate Colby gracefully gathers evidence of the self’s fading (“Cognition is the mist on the mirror I write in with my finger, but it always disappears in the time it takes to see it”) via serial mini-essays—a series of “dark questions”—which accumulate as shards of contemplative rage, violent static, and threatening strength. These are mirror moments: sharp, clear, and uncanny, as well as deeply curious of art’s ability to satisfactorily replicate anything authentic.
“That I perceive myself as distinct from everything else makes me a broken mirror—not cracked, but in the sense of a broken record, out-performing its role, silently turning into the night.

Cognition is the mist on the mirror I write in with my finger, but it always disappears in the time it takes to see it.”
KATE COLBY’s seventh book of poetry, The Arrangements, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2018. Fruitlands won the Norma Farber First Book Award in 2007. She is a founding board member of the Gloucester Writers Center in Massachusetts and currently lives in Providence, where she was a 2012 fellow of the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts.


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Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.