Reviews & Press

THE MOST OVERLOOKED, THE MOST KIND: THIS BUSINESS OF THE FLESH BY C. KUBASTA

Kubasta is subtle in her presentations of simmering class hostilities woven into the fabric of interpersonal relations at nearly every level. Also, this isn’t a novella where the protagonists pines for elsewhere, some mythical ‘big city’ or more cosmopolitan region nearly always the default setting for literature not actually of its locale. Kubasta’s prose has a matter-of-factness to it allowing it to move from character to character confidently guiding readers with a gentle hand allowing the utmost reading pleasure.         

                      Daniel Casey, at Misanthropester

Girling in the Season of #MeToo

In fairy tales, the wolf is never really a wolf, and no matter what he says, “hungry” isn’t quite what he means. If a man kisses you when you’re sleeping or dead, he thinks you’re beautiful and you’re meant to be together. If you want love, give up your voice for legs: you can either call out, or run – but not both. Who needs either anyway . . . it looks like a handsome prince is headed your way. Perhaps fairy tales are an archaic and covert version of #MeToo.

Poetry Will Survive: An Interview with C. Kubasta

I think part of the reason my poetry is as it is—intertextual & layered—is probably because of this appetite, a kind of omnivorousness. I learned about love & sex from my paternal grandmother's bodice-rippers, from my maternal grandmother's Clan of the Cave Bear.

To The Quarry, Together

On Poetry, Art, and Collaboration

When poets and visual artists work together, they negotiate a shared language. In collaboration, they explore how their work, well, works together: both engage with form and shape, utilize symbolic thought, and explore metaphor of various kinds. Materials change and mutate in the hands of artists, and often come to their final forms after many revisions and drafts, possible versions begun and set aside. Art exists in the friction—the frisson—between idea and making, in the often never-fully-complete translation between the inception of an idea (which is always perfect because it’s unmade) and the fruition of that idea. It’s a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle that calls us back to the blinking screen, the empty table, the blank wall.

                                  C. Kubasta, with Mollie Oblinger, at Wisconsin People & Ideas

Image Credit: Mollie Oblinger

Little Myths: Four Questions for C. Kubasta

The good poem affects me like the screw is in my belly, and there are various “turns” throughout the poem, a good quarter turn, that sinks it deeper in. I want poems that are visceral, that cannot be ignored, that demand our emotional, psychological, and mental energy. We are forced to engage with them – poetry, like humor, porn, & horror, should also be a body genre.

                                                                        with Dan Shapiro

Sentenced to Gender: The Women of Blazevox Books

Kubasta resists this masculine economy of texts, its rules, and its system of valuation, through her provocative appropriative gestures.   By juxtaposing found text with her own imaginative work, Kubasta makes it impossible for us to separate her own intellectual labor from culture, or the individual from the larger collective, or self from world. She calls our attention to the inherent artifice of any attempt to assert textual ownership.

                                 Kristina Marie Darling, writing at the Best American Poetry blog

All Beautiful & Useless

reviewed in Pith

This dichotomous feeling, of being both appalled and in love, is something Kubasta has captured and somehow sprinkled throughout all three parts of the collection. The reader is moved by a succession of such lines, sometimes but not always manifesting themselves in parenthetical interruptions of her own poems or comments upon the writing of them, that arrest both the reading and the reader. Like Ed Gein’s mother, she has “…become adept / at saving and stealing and making good from the dross / those less in love with their own pain / throw out."

                               Stacy Cartledge

A Lovely Box reviewed in Verse Wisconsin

A Wisconsin native, Kubasta begins with the ubiquitous Midwestern barn in “The Barn.” But this isn’t your familiar, nostalgic farm scene, or even your familiar, gritty undoing of it. Instead we’re almost immediately in a literal/ metaphorical strip poker game of clothes and language that keeps getting relined and reconfigured, drawing our attentions to pronouns and to arrangements of text on the page. The barn itself, whatever it is—real, imagined, symbolic, metaphorical, connotation, denotation—all of the above, is up for grabs:

But then it was a new game. The magazine: a glossy page. (A man)(A woman)(People) doing something

(She)(He)(We)(They)(I) lay down on a mouse-eaten couch, took off (his)(her)(our)(their)(my) pants. But (he)(she)(we)(they)(I) didn’t look like the
(man)(woman)(people) in the magazine.

                                                                                            Wendy Vardaman