Heart of the Lonesome Galaxy

Available to purchase from CutBank Books now!

“In the human sphere, we are addicted to stories, which is to say to the notion that cause and effect exist and function as expected and somehow make meaning or at least explanation. Kate Lucas’s luminous poems search high and low but mostly very high indeed, across space and time, for story, explanation, meaning. They apply the rules of one realm to the actions of another in a kind of stubborn hope and persistence. They make metaphors into hard-won truths. These poems see clearly and care mightily.” 

—Leslie Harrison, author of Displacement and The Book of Endings  

“Throughout Kate Lucas’s wonderful chapbook, the self becomes impossibly small when compared with the vastness of the universe—and yet, from another angle, the universe is just as small when compared with the vastness of the self. This is the sort of fundamental paradox that Lucas explores as she considers photographs taken by the Hubble Telescope alongside narratives of family, friendship, and loss. The overall effect of this mature debut collection is a weaving together of science and personal experience into something fascinatingly ‘polyphonic and // agnostic, / omnivorous / and elastic.'”

—Wayne Miller, author of Post- and The City, Our City

“The poems of Kate Lucas’s Heart of the Lonesome Galaxy swing from sonnet to prose and back, orbiting, ‘The unknowability. The instability. The vast churn and billowing scale.’ … It is an ‘ongoing study’ of perspective—scope and scale—physical, familial, temporal, intellectual, individual. These are poems finely formed around a gravitational center: a beautiful and treacherous solitude. Glimpse a dark nebula beside a grandfather’s suicide; the cosmic expanse of loneliness beside runt tangerines; the brain’s galaxy beside sheet music and a recipe for whole wheat bread. Here we feel the dark matter shredding us, keeping us together.”

—Wesley Rothman, author of Subwoofer

“In Lonesome Galaxy, Kate Lucas writes about the enduring questions of poetry—loss, time, violence, the night sky, and the scale of a human life vs. the scale of the universe. This poetry, by looking through telescopes and microscopes, by shuffling memory and observation, will help you to see something of your own life more clearly.”

—Sarah Vap, author of Winter: Effulgences and Devotions and Viability