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The Catastrophe of Rainbows (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1985; reissued 1998)

The Catastrophe of Rainbows cover

Martha Collins' first book of poems, first published in 1985 and reissued in 1998.

About The Catastrophe of Rainbows

"Martha Collins is a poet whose command of craft rises beautifully to meet the needs of her vision. . . . The content which informs, which forms, these poems doesn't sound like someone else's. . . . Her diction and images often have a dense, closewoven texture, as of tapestry. In the long title poem this is especially true."

—Denise Levertov

"The Catastrophe of Rainbows is that rare thing, a book which is mysteriously familiar even on a first reading and new and surprising on each successive encounter. . . . As the subtle inter-connections among the poems clarify and expand, it is as if one inhabits a seamless arc of color. And also sound. . . . But it is the poet as story-teller who most amazes me. Like a magician, she tells us what she is about to do and, as she tells it, it happens."

—Peter Klappert

"I admire the fierce purity of Martha Collins' language and, more, the sardonic imagination with which she explores and elaborates alternative—and sometimes sinister—fictions about the world. . . . Her Catastrophe of Rainbows is an enlightening event."

—Sandra Gilbert

"Martha Collins makes stunning objects, beautiful thought-machines, textures-of-questionings, songs. . . . Bold primaries (color, emotion, event), put into the poem with a forthright pastrycook slap, flash out at the end with astonishing moral and dramatic reverberation. . . . Like a Bunraku puppeteer she says 'here, see me contriving this.' We see, but are no less wowed."

—George Starbuck

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