Of Covenants (Whitepoint Press)
C. Kubasta, please don’t take offense as we make reference to, ahem, country music in reviewing your fantastic new collection, Of Covenants. The plainspoken, country-road cadence and homespun themes lean to AM, not FM, and yet the words, sounds, and rhythms are high-beam, A-team poetry.
Matt Sutherland, Foreword Reviews
“What we know is an interconnected system of omissions, additions, [and] elisions,” C. Kubasta writes in her terrific collection Of Covenants. The poems sound-out, and explore the economies of law & misrule we are subject to; and equally those economies of accord & discord we create in living: “all our plans on concrete, a glittery mess.” This is to say the poems are experienced; they are in fact assemblages of experience: of autobiography, of research, of citation––or the effacement of such accounting, and thereby reminds us that every memory system is also a system of forgetting. Every confession, a potential excuse. The poems in Of Covenants are movingly pitched against these meaner forms of forgetting, but they necessarily reckon them as part of the “glittery mess” of language and eros where always the questions: “Are you lying? (Are you aware you’re lying?)” obtain, and cut the sharpest.
Jeffrey Pethybridge, author of Striven, The Bright Treatise
All Beautiful & Useless (BlazeVOX)
C. Kubasta’s All Beautiful & Useless is a fearless book. With an amazing range of forms—including sonnets, erasures and a screenplay—these poems ask us to investigate
“the sudden violence/done to childhood when you trust too much.” Poems about the Salem Witch Trials, Thumbelina, Cinderella, the victims of serial killer Ed Gein, as well as poems from the poet’s own experience explore the devastating violence that is so often inflicted on female bodies. These poems demand our attention. A remarkable debut collection.
Nicole Cooley, author of Breach
From a fresh consideration of the Salem witch trials, C. Kubasta’s All Beautiful & Useless launches into autobiography rendered in a masterful array of forms, voices, and rhythms. Re-constructed delivery methods such as sonnets, personal lyrics, and a playlet blend with incorporations of Big Government’s strategic redactions, computer code, academic lingo, and Modernist explorations of the line to produce a book improbably personal and deeply moving. This book knocks me flat.
Mike Smith, author of Multiverse and Byron in Baghdad
&s (Finishing Line)
Ampersands—twisted & elegant—quick symbols of joining, of expansion. How we twine together, how we tangle. C. Kubasta's nimble poems "caliper and figure the landscape of pain." Of metamorphosis, she writes, "But sometimes we become less than what we were/and it is no tragedy...I say this/because I have been dreaming of other lives." Bemused & wise, her poems celebrate nipples & misunderstandings. Poignant & searing, her deft poems confront memory & death & family estranged.
Peggy Shumaker, author of Toucan Nest: Poems of Costa Rica
In C. Kubasta’s &s, we enter the world of the body where “everything becomes gnashing teeth.” In poems as wide ranging in subjects such as fallopian tubes and Ortho-cept, we are led through an investigation of longing, where “desire/ is both a moving toward, and a hiding/ from.”
Kubasta’s work is a reminder that, despite pain and the lack of control over our bodies, we are resilient. We endure.
Julie Brooks Barbour, author of Small Chimes and Beautifully Whole
A Lovely Box (Finishing Line)
Winner of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Prize
C. Kubasta's A Lovely Box is an intelligent, intertextual investigation into identity, one that looks unflinchingly at the body, love, experience, and the circumstances that bring us and keep us. Poetically painting the lovely as horrifying, the horrifying as lovely, Kubasta imparts scenery and love that is "uncomfortable and actual." Always surprising, full of formal inventiveness and linguistical delights, A Lovely Box makes us wonder, in life and death, in love and loss, what is ours to keep, what we can no longer hold.
--Jenny Boully, author of The Body: An Essay