Kate Colby was born in Boston and grew up in Massachusetts. She earned a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. She is the author of six books of poetry, including Fruitlands (2006), winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, Unbecoming Behavior (2008), and I Mean (2015).
Wary of easy similes and life summaries, Colby writes poems in Unbecoming Behavior that are based on the biography of the writer Jane Bowles. Denise Dooley, reviewing the book for galatea resurrection, described it as a “project of spliced sound, color, and ventriloquized experience.” In other poems, Colby has incorporated accounts of Isadora Duncan, Anna Anderson, Catherine de Medici, Sarah Winchester, and the Transcendentalist community at Fruitlands as she recontextualizes these accounts within personal details and writings on the contemporary world.
She has received fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts and Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room, and her work has been featured at the Beauport Sleeper-McCann, deCordova, Isabella Stewart Gardner and RISD museums. Her poems and essays have appeared in Bennington Review, Columbia Poetry Review, PEN America, The Rumpus, Verse and the DIA Readings in Contemporary Poetry Anthology, among other journals and anthologies. She was a founding board member of the Gloucester Writers Center in Massachusetts and currently lives in Providence, where she works as a copywriter and editor.