Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist. Her books of poetry include E! Entertainment, The Ravenous Audience, and ABRA, which won the 2017 international Turn On Literature Prize. Durbin was the Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence in Brisbane, Australia in 2015. Her art and writing have been featured in the New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, the Believer, BOMB, poets.org, the American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She has shown her artwork nationally and internationally at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, The PULSE Art Fair in Miami, MOCA Los Angeles, the SPRING/BREAK Art Show in Los Angeles, peer to space in Berlin, and more.
David Foster Wallace’s [work…has] given us a sense of a premillennial set of concerns about television and entertainment with regard to irony, sincerity, and entertainment commodities and forms, but Durbin’s book represents/realizes more precisely the cultural milieu that we find ourselves in. Whereas Wallace sought to get under the skin of television personalities in his early short fiction, Durbin[s’]...prose forces us to pause and reabsorb what we have already seen and heard, [which] may be a much more powerful — and sinister — endeavor.
Thomas Cook, The Rumpus
There is no one sporting hypermediaflesh like Kate Durbin’s. She strips the TV image from its old curves, reupholstering 2D-packed pixelshit into clipped components, sentences, where somehow less surrounded they take on the shape of psychically deformed wallpaper. These are our icon baths hobbling toward you, reciting script-prayer in mime of sleep, and now Durbin is their lord."
Though the swift-moving spectacle of the television show invites viewers to cast easy judgment on these hoarders, Durbin employs poetry's slower speed to show a more complicated picture. Instead of using [these stories] to make us feel better about ourselves for not being hoarders, she indicts aspects of American culture we all participate in—religion, capitalism—and reveals our complicity, all the while dropping a lot of sight gags in the process.
Rich Smith, The Stranger
I call Kate Durbin one of the most compelling contemporary American writers because I feel like she’s in her own lane. No one does what she does in the way that she does it.”
Christopher Higgs, HTML Giant
[Durbin’s writing is] even more surreal than what we get on TV, and also subversively funny. XO Jane
Durbin uses her alchemy to transform something that is already unreal, reality TV, the result is unnamable. You can’t slow down time where time doesn’t exist. Yet Durbin does. She’s a witch.
Myriam Gurba, Radar Productions
Reviews of books by Kate Durbin
Panacea Poets: Kate Durbin (Queensland Poetry Festival)
Interview with Kate Durbin for Bareknuckle Poet
Kate Durbin reads at Skylight Books
Kate Durbin & Matt Longabucco read for The Poetry Project