Katharine Coles’s (Solve for) X opens a window in a room we did not realize was stuffy. The rigidity of knowledge yields to the beauty of the search, which is both captivating and mysterious. Organized as an abecedarium, the poems are couched in spare, emotionally charged diction that plumbs consciousness and moral responsibility. Coles meditates on an imaginary sister, impositions of the body on the mind, and the human mess that remains despite death or disaster. The mastery of how Coles writes and what she knows is matched only by her ease with the uncertain X. In (Solve for) X, she breaks down contrary ideas and reassembles them, harmoniously redesigned.
Praise for Katharine Coles
"Katharine Coles finds a way to make our world new for us, again and again."
—David St. John, author of Study for the World's Body
"Under Katharine Coles’s delicate, mindful scrutiny, reality shivers and restlessly reinvents itself."
—Alice Fulton, author of Felt
"Katharine Coles collects exotica and renders it part of the interior landscape. . . . Hers is not an art of mere accumulation but of creating spaces that accommodate complexity without sacrificing love for the world and the lover."
—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Stairway to Heaven (Poems)