Katie Umans, poet, Dover
Kate Umans earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Arts in English from Connecticut College. Currently she is an on-line instructor at the Center for Talented Youth, Distance Education at Johns Hopkins University, and an Administrative Assistant at the University of New Hampshire Foundation. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, was nominated for a Pushcart Prinze, and was a finalist for the Persea Press Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize and the Four Way Books Intro Prize. Her work has appeared in journals including Salt Hill, Barrow Street, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, Hunger Mountain and Beloit Poetry Journal.
“My manuscript of poems is titled The Flock Book. A flock book is actually a pretty unsophisticated thing – a record of births, deaths, breeds, pedigrees, parentages, and transfers that helps farmers keep track of their sheep or cattle. This kind of crude record is exactly the opposite of poetry, and yet also manages to represent exactly the currents that seem to run through the poems – all the anxiety of grouping and sheltering oneself, of being (or not being) in the registry, acts of straying or wishing to stray from the flock, of existing in proximity to others, of being absorbed into the comfort and protection of the flock only as a trade for living under the weight of threats – of slaughter, or conformity, of impurity, of weakness, or rejection. Also, my poems tend to be a lot about the straying of sleep and dreaming, so there is space for the counted sheep along with the literal animals.”
Photo by Jane Eklund
September 9, 2009