Books

The Swamp Monster at Home
LSU Press, February, 2012

“In Catherine Carter’s The Swamp Monster at Home, classical sirens sing from a Chesapeake Bay island; Adam and his lover, Steve, share beers in Eden; and a Norse goddess strides into an emergency room, “glowing like grain.” With quirky imagination and wry humor, Carter exposes the connections between human and nonhuman, blood and home.

“Building upon The Memory of Gills, Carter’s debut collection and winner of the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, these vivid and tender poems consider the immanent and sometimes animistic natural world. The Swamp Monster at Home, however, takes new risks, offering a deeper vulnerability and greater maturity; this new collection acknowledges the loves within and outside of marriage and confesses to both the grief and the relief of miscarriage. Varied in form, The Swamp Monster at Home offers accessible and rewarding, elegiac yet hopeful poems—an exciting new collection from a remarkable writer.”

 The Memory of Gills
LSU, 2006

“Catherine Carter’s first volume of poetry exudes a genuinely classical quality-cool-eyed and clear-eyed, intelligent, unsentimental, self-aware, and witty in the fullest and best sense. Carter takes our evolutionary development in the womb as a departure point for remembering or imagining our links with nonhuman animals, which make us feel both alien and alive. She writes of being “raised by wolves,” that “everyone marries into another species,” and of “hearing things” in the voices of the rattlesnake plantain or the apple core. With an offbeat, sometimes-gallows humor-the poems’ subjects range from roadkill to stingray-human sex to a traffic ticket for avoiding toads on the road-that looks at our connections of blood, home, and exile, The Memory of Gills nonetheless speaks of the hope that we belong where we are.”