The poems in Novel are what happen when you teach a cat to type. They will lead you across a bridge made of bread, through a door in the forest, to a paddock containing stories. They will tell you that it’s not that the dead cannot tie their shoes, they just refuse. That architects design the elements to withstand the structure. That loose ends are beautiful if not useless. If you’ve picked up this book because you like poems that know where they are going, put the book down. You will need to run.
Praise for Novel
"Please give Cati Porter’s new book Novel to people who say they don’t like poetry. Not because these poems are simple or straightforward, rather because they are deeply charming. They cast spells: each poem carries the reader on a carpet of words to a world furnished by Porter’s irresistible imagination."
— Natasha Sajé
"Just looking at the first few titles of Cati Porter's Novel: Poems—"As Margaret Napped Through the Apocalypse," "Because the Dead Cannot Tie their Shoes," "Lazarus in the Bookstore"—we know right away that we are in the land of the outrageous. These are poems of subtle and sometimes boisterous humor. There is deep knowledge and skill, and echoes of culture both high and low. And love, love is there too, for this laugh-out-loud book is also a book of love poems. The book is like entering an apartment where you think there is a great party happening and finding yourself in the middle of a love poem, a love poem to a husband, to a son, to the world, and not wanting to disturb the holy place you proceed through the rooms slowly, showing respect for the art of serious laughter, and the blessings of the everyday. Porter is a poet not afraid of language and her language twists, turns, dives and soars and is finger licking good. I loved reading this book, it is fun, filled with humor and wisdom, qualities that are much needed in these troubling times. But why so serious? Cheers for Novel: Poems, cheers for Cati Porter."
— Richard Garcia
"With delightful candor, Cati Porter’s Novel delivers witty, whimsical, sharp poems of joyful discontent. Porter insists the inscrutable boundaries between the living and the dead are nothing more than “the burning bush extinguished…” and travels her readers through the apocalypse in saddle shoes while she dangles off a bridge by her thumbs."
— Maureen Alsop