Savage Machinery


Savage Machinery

Finishing Line Press © 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59924-287-3
Painting: Sacrificial Grace
by Makoto Fujimura

Published by Finishing Line Press in October 2008 in an edition of 250 copies, Savage Machinery is a saddle-stitched chapbook exploring 15th and mid-century art, eros, women, and the pleasures of taste.


“In Karen Rigby’s poems we are in a world far from innocence. We are, in fact, in the ‘savage machinery’ of the world after the fall, a world stricken with beauty and flaw. Whether writing about the ‘heart’s declensions’ in the voice of Norma Desmond, or about the ‘multiple selves’ of the onion, or the ‘dumb abandonment’ of Da Vinci’s flying machine, Rigby’s poems negotiate the balance between wonder and woundedness. Rigby’s eye is phenomenally attuned to everything it sees, and even past what’s seen, to the ‘rooms behind / the ones you know.’ The poems are vividly strange, and utterly heartbreaking.”

—Rick Barot

“The poems of Savage Machinery are driven by both a keen sense of rhythm and a confident announcement of Rigby’s metaphoric visions of the world. ‘The pure, explosive signature’ of her poetry aspires toward Blake’s admonition to ‘see not with but thro the eye,’ and because of this imaginative ambition (conveyed with music and grace), the poems reveal a vivid sensual world that seems both wholly familiar and holy strange…”

—Tod Marshall

“It’s no accident that some of these poems reference Edward Hopper. Rigby’s language evokes his sparse, barren landscapes where emptiness is tangible, menacing, and beautiful. Her poems are so packed they bloom at the touch…”

—Jim Daniels

Festival Bone


Festival Bone

Adastra Press © 2004
ISBN: 0-938566-94-6

Published by Adastra Press in 2004 in a hand-sewn letterpress edition of 200 copies, Festival Bone is a letterpress chapbook featuring fifteen early poems. Publisher Gary Metras writes, “…the author reveals a unique voice…lyrical yet surreal, symbolist and descriptive…”

Orders: SPD Books
Libraries: Worldcat.org

“Rigby writes with rigorous intensity…She makes intricate lists of surprises, she looks closely at small things, and she draws her imagery together, loading it carefully, letting it mount to flare as the poem ends.”

—The Georgia Review
Paul Zimmer

“In these fifteen poems, we have the privilege of glimpsing the poet with an already unique voice and a natural panache for the lyric…the poems move imagistically, but have a way of opening out even as they hone in on precise details. The result is lyrically taut poetry that never shies away from the complex and contradictory movements of the imagination…The poems in Festival Bone are beautiful, startling, and unsettling. Like any good chapbook, it will whet your appetite and leave you hungry for more.”

—American Book Review
Brian Barker

“Her poems demand that we pay attention to the logic in each image, the intelligence of each phrase…She is a careful craftsman that demands careful reading.”

—Tears in the Fence
Bruce Spang