Hoarders by Kate Durbin (Wave Books)

Tears in the Fence

Kate Durbin’s work has been compared to Kafka’s and Beckett’s in its approach to the surreal, and her new bookHoarder’scertainly captures what is absurd in the culture of spectacle that is evident in the AE network’s television show,Hoarders. The reality show episodes focus on a single person or perhaps a couple who feel compelled to hoard objects. These objects come out of a culture based on the idea that consumerism solves problems and brings joy and gives us a voyeuristic look at the result of what is essentially someone’s mental illness. Durbin’s prose poems mix what the participants say about themselves as she describes what the camera is showing. The result is commentary on why they consume what they do and what we are consuming spiritually through our viewership. It is an exceptionally powerful collection that left me often sick to my stomach and moved powerfully…

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