Library of Small Catastrophes Book Cover

Alison C. Rollins holds a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude & phi beta kappa) in Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Born and raised in St. Louis city, she currently works as the Lead Teaching and Learning Librarian for Colorado College. She also serves as faculty for Pacific Northwest College of Art's Low-Residency MFA. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, New England Review, The New York Times MagazineThe Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she is also a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Rollins has most recently been awarded support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and is a recipient of a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellowship as well as a 2018 Rona Jaffe Writers' Award. A 2020 Pushcart Prize winner, her debut poetry collection Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press) is out now! 


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"Like sunflowers turning towards the sun, readers will turn to this astounding poet." 

Booklist, (Starred Review)

"The range of Rollins' poetic skill is remarkable. The result is a collection of poetry which is magnificently crafted, readable, and crucially important." 

New York Journal of Books

"In poem after poem, Rollins demonstrates that she is finding her own way, shining a light, making darkness apparent." 

Publishers Weekly

"Much-welcomed newcomer Rollins offers keen insights that librarians and their readers will appreciate."

Library Journal 

"Some dense and haunting, Rollins' poems are always precise and exacting of attention from the reader...The poems continue to give upon each reading."

Ms. Magazine 

"The small and large darknesses catalogued here make this a book of remarkable depth. This is an electrifying debut."

Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin