With a nod to Borges’s fascination with libraries, this ambitious first collection by Alison C. Rollins—a librarian herself—archives the grist and grind of life with marvelous linguistic agility and philosophical sapience. “Memory is about the future, not the past,” she reminds, and offers poems as maps: counting teeth and time, marking punctuation and punishment, and remembering disappeared histories. Inside her indexed precision, Rollins leaves plenty of room for wilderness—the leaking body, the music of tragedy, the personal lament—cataloguing love and loss on an existential scale.
“A collection of poetry which is magnificently crafted, readable, and crucially important.” —New York Journal of Books
“In poem after poem, Rollins demonstrates that she is finding her own way, shining a light, making darkness apparent.” —Publishers Weekly
“In a stunning debut collection of poems, Alison C. Rollins makes use of imagery relating to archives, texts, figures from history, card catalogs, classifications—libraries as evocative troves of imagery, blurring eras, familiar phrases and identities.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, New York Times Magazine
“Sparkles with compassionate intelligence…” —Adroit Journal
“Rollins explores the ways in which we store our personal and cultural histories and how they act upon us, in language so immediate and evocative it’s sure to bring about some tears while reading.” —Buzzfeed
“In Library of Small Catastrophes, Alison C. Rollins cements her place as a critical voice in contemporary poetry.” —Muzzle Magazine