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“Katherine Gaffney’s Fool in a Blue House swings with honesty between the ideal life imagined in a model kitchen and the more true place where we find ourselves. Dwelling in the space where these two worlds intersect, Gaffney’s poems masterfully capture “a life / of waiting and counting” though they ultimately arrive at an assertion that the perfect room we seek is most likely within ourselves. Strawberries planted in the yard promise possibility, and each of these carefully crafted poems somehow bloom simultaneously with truth, sadness, and joy. Gaffney’s poems capture life as it is and not as how we think it should be.” —Adam Clay, Author of To Make Room for the Sea
“’I am bred to want.’ Fool in a Blue House incites the crises of womanhood—what being woman means amid history’s exhibitions to poke holes to keep women incomplete—where characters elicit mutilation to avoid the violence of men, domesticity emerges as acts of rebellion, and the bond between human and more-than-human world becomes kaleidoscopic lenses to interpret the obscurities of evolving loves. Grappling with a mother’s heart attack and pushing back against damaging heteronormative gender roles, Gaffney interrogates the heart etymologically, figuratively, literally, and in all the complex crevasses etched between.” —Felicia Zamora, Author of I Always Carry My Bones
“Katherine Gaffney’s Fool in a Blue House teaches me how to love the holes in the barn, how to treasure the broken object, how to salvage what is left of a relationship. It teaches me that love can survive a LongHorn Steakhouse and that ‘ruin . . . is not ruin at all, but reinvention.’ I love these poems, not only for Gaffney’s deft language-play and clever insights, but also for the ways in which—despite the violence of humanity, the fragility of our bodies, the brokenness of our relationships—her speaker insists on humor, on tenderness, on hope and renewal. I know I’ll return to these poems again and again.” —Marianne Chan, Author of All Heathens
“With virtuosity and grace, these poems sound the whole range of human emotion, from big orchestral life stuff to the subtler rhythms of our closest relationships. “A part of me bloomed secretly,” Gaffney writes, weaving between interior and exterior landscapes to honor the solitude that grows even—or especially—in the company of others. Fool in a Blue House is a shimmering, open-hearted book.” —Caki Wilkinson, Author of The Survival Expo