Disputed Site

Disputed Site

Kate Monaghan

Gival Press Poetry Award

Winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award


"A thought-stirring, rich collection from an erudite writer."

—Kirkus Reviews


Disputed Site marks the arrival of an important new voice in American poetry. With lyricism informed by a truly humane spirit, and the clear-eyed inquisitiveness of a research scientist, Kate Monaghan is a poet of marvelous clarities and wide-world-faring vision. This generous collection—centered by Oil Rig Sestinas, which is one of the most important sequences of contemporary environmental poetry I have encountered—is intimate, meditative, complex, disturbing, revelatory. Disputed Site is a gorgeous and powerful debut.”

—Bradford Morrow

“With all her senses alert, Kate Monahan is a poet of the Earth. Her intelligent poems yearn for a planet without hateful border stations, floating-trash islands, and elaborate human grief. We are just specks in the universe, but Monaghan’s darkly bright poems tug us toward a renewable homeland.”

—Henri Cole


“The soul must suffer the perils of its desires. Unsure of its origins, anxious as to its ending, it is, as Monaghan beautifully avows, “a hum that is moving”—moving among the debris of modernity, moving deeply into our menaced earth, moving with the dark companionship of history. But if there is peril, there is also the rich music of peril. Disputed Site amplifies this music beautifully. This is a splendid collection.”

—Donald Revell


“Kate Monaghan is poet of elegance, acuity, verbal balance. She has a careful and observing eye, and fashions beautiful interiors of thought and feeling. She is also a poet of courage and compassion who can adapt her imaginative apparatus to some of the harshest realities of our world—foreign wars, fraught and dangerous borders, people condemned to brutal toil—and show us how our most intimate awareness of ourselves is inseparable from our moral and human responsibilities.”

—Vijay Seshadri


“Planetary in ambition and alive with forms as varied as the world it portrays, Kate Monaghan’s Disputed Site reminds us our bodies, no matter how much we may resist or deny, remain intrinsically linked to nature. We feel every rusted-out chassis, toxic ash heap, garbage patch, and oil spill as damage to our physical being, but with every wound, she leaves us an opportunity to heal. With every death—a chance to be reborn.”

—Matthew Pennock, PhD, judge and author of The Miracle Machine and Sudden Dog

Kate Monaghan

Kate Monaghan lives in New York City. Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Conjunctions, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in Studio Art and English from Yale and a PhD in classical Chinese poetry from Harvard.

Kate Monaghan