(After Hours Editions, 2022)
Colleen Louise Barry’s debut collection of poems, COLLEEN, is a gleeful exercise in self-documentation. Without taking themselves too seriously, these often funny and wise poems ask big questions about the nature of reality. They mix mystery with candor and childlike wonder with aphoristic certainty.
COLLEEN’s clearest assertions invite our closest inspection, revealing infinite complexities. The ideas in this book are like cups at the end of rivers. Visual and abstract consumption is digested, but it’s also tangled. What is the poet’s role in her poetry?
Like a self-titled pop album, COLLEEN presents a mercurial version of its creator: powerfully refracted through each of her poems, aware of the absurdity inherent in her own construction, letting us in on the best inside jokes.