Reverse Engineer

Reverse Engineer

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Author: Kate Colby

Publisher: Ornithopter Press (2022)

In her ninth book of poetry, Kate Colby continues her excavation of the unknown, "the key to which breaks / the lock by breaking in it." Operating at the junctures of perception and sensation, philosophy and grief, Reverse Engineer explores the deep recesses of human experience where conventional language doesn't quite reach.

"Informed by contemporary physics and by epistemology, Reverse Engineer is a book about what defies description and eludes understanding. Kate Colby acknowledges this conundrum. Thinking about the self and the universe, we tie ourselves in knots. A poem may be such a knot - or so Colby suggests: 'A poem's a Rube Goldberg doo- / hickey to elicit a flicker - I die / while I'm writing , if as yet not / of it.' I think I will always remember these lines, this flicker."

– Rae Armantrout

"Reverse Engineer is full of daisy-chained aphorisms apophatically accounting for what thinking is like ('a simile works / like this'), extending beyond sense so that sensation gets severely enjambed, and I get to feeling , 'I am what's needed / of my own erasure.' I love how Kate Colby's poems hurt 'me.'"

– Aditi Machado