A Matter of Dark Matter
by Kate Hutchinson
50 poems ~ 85 pages
Price: $19.00
Publisher: Kelsay Books
ISBN: 9781639801060
To Order: Directly through Kelsay Books or by contacting the author via Facebook or email – k28hutch@yahoo.com


Kate’s third collection, containing five sections of ten poems each, moves from exploring her inner life to the life of the planet––and it moves, too, from darkness to light. Poems touch upon themes of coming-of-age, family and loss, mental illness, anxiety wrought by environmental degradation, and finally the hope and joy that she finds when she lets herself see the beauty in others and in the world.


In A Matter of Dark Matter, Kate Hutchinson makes “mattering” a polestar of her poetry. She measures memories and experiences darkened by invisibility–vulnerable students, a son who knows “the constant bruise of his heart,” the disappearance of beloved “wild places,” the challenges of body image. The poems are both composed and starkly intimate, but ultimately the reader joins the poet’s triumph–full-out singing Eric Clapton in an empty grocery store, a “sawed-in-half woman stepping out of the box”–the small joys the poet relishes as she foot-stamps against invisibility.
–Gail Goepfert, editor at RHINO; author of Self-Portrait with Thorns and This Hard Business of Living

Kate Hutchinson launches a journey through themes of fragility, vulnerability and impermanence with bravery and fiercely acute perception. This is the voice of a woman who has reclaimed herself, who never shrinks from the task at hand: to look, to see, to accept and ultimately, to be.
–Peter Ludwin, winner of the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award, and 2017 American Book Award nominee for Gone to Gold Mountain


Kate Hutchinson recently retired from a 34-year career of teaching high school English in Chicago's northwest suburbs. Her poetry and personal essays have appeared in dozens of publications and won numerous awards, both regional and national, and she has earned three Pushcart Prize nominations. Kate has two previous poetry collections, The Gray Limbo of Perhaps (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and Map Making: Poems of Land and Identity (THEAQ Press, 2015). She is active with several local poetry organizations, including serving as contest chair for Chicagoland Poets & Patrons and assistant editor for the literary arts journal East on Central in Highland Park.


Listening to Gwendolyn Brooks
by Kate Hutchinson

What an invitation she offered into her world of words,
where grandmothers' kitchens came alive with smells, where
brown girls feared harsh hands, where shady pool players
lurked and jazzed in smoky bars. Words cartwheeled and caromed

over my head–my words but somehow not my language–
sharper, prickly playful, red with anger and blue with tears.
They were gemstones I fondled in my coat pockets
and sang into new rhymes as I walked home from school.

As I grew, she shrank, Ms. Brooks. By her third visit–to my
college classroom–she was small as a child, orthopedic shoes
shuffling. Only then did I recognize the power in those
flashing eyes, the serrated edge of her tongue: warning us

about old, jellied rules. Daring herself to wear brave stockings
of night-black lace.
Shaming those pink ladies of Glencoe
who love the poor but not their stench. Something like wisdom
seeded between my ribs, then–tendrils of a soul taking root.


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