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Distributed for Carnegie Mellon University Press

The Woman with a Cat on Her Shoulder

and Other Riffs

A  poetic meditation on the terror of extinction.

The Woman with a Cat on Her Shoulder is a gathering of “punk formalist” lyrics that collectively are a meditation not on mortality so much as on the terror of extinction, how that terror is the reservoir of love. Katrovas declaims from the margins of faith, the cliff edge of doubt, seeking to measure the conductivity of private troubles to public issues. Katrovas’ “riffs” are verse essays jotted in the antechambers of nightmares and erotic dreams.

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“Suppose that, like the ancient Greeks, we have a religious drama, and it turns out to be soap opera. Suppose that a skillful and cheeky poet saw in this circumstance not a falling away from a Golden Age but an opportunity to write, in both high style and a wicked parody of high style, about the emotional life of the tribe. You’d have this book.” 

William Matthews

“Wit, verve, energy, and common intelligence mark the poems . . . as truly distinctive. But what makes them necessary is the heartbeat in the shadows, the steam of daily things. This poet, as they say in the South, is doing business—and it is a rare, sometimes raw pleasure to watch him.” 

Dave Smith

“Richard Katrovas is masterful, part Mark Twain, part Henry Miller. He is ferocious, tender, original.” 

Gerald Stern

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