CavanKerry Press, 2004
Runner-up for the Paterson Poetry Prize (2005)
Runner-up for the ForeWord Magazine Book of Year (2004)
Those moments in childhood that shape who we will become, and all that will come to define our lives, dominate the poems that Catherine Doty has collected in this poetry collection.
With humor, affection and a sharp awareness of the larger truths that can be found even in the mundane, Doty explores the luminous, sometimes curious relics of memory.
. . . a book of intense and affectionate metaphor. There are “dust storms/in the canister of sugar,” aquariums evolve inevitably into “twenty-five gallons of well-lit bouillabaisse,” and her father’s revving of an outboard motor mounted in an oil drum says all that can be said about going nowhere. The magical and the daily keep turning vividly into each other, and Doty can hardly decide which she loves more.
— James Richardson
At its best, poetry manages the feat of being unerring and fallible at the same time, of communicating a simultaneous sense of the rich shakiness of the present moment and the hard weight of the past. Over and over, Catherine Doty succeeds in poems that are engaging, shrewd and brimming with actual feeling. When I write “actual” I mean neither emotionally tethered nor shouting but willing to endure and celebrate the real emotional skeins and stains that constitute real lives. She has the knack and she knows how to use it.
— Baron Wormser
Employing brief, almost journalistic sketches punctuated by passionate language, Doty creates a virtual photo album that begins in 1960s Paterson, New Jersey . . . Personal as her poems are, they have the power to evoke memories in anyone who has ever been a child. Recalling her childhood home in Paterson, Doty celebrates those small, seemingly insignificant details that define not just a space but a life . . .
— The New York Times