★ From Your Hostess at the T&A Museum is an insightful poetry collection that is as funny as it is sharp.
—Dontaná McPherson-Joseph, Clarion Reviews (5 out of 5 Stars)
Kathleen Balma demonstrates a prodigious fluency with language in her intelligent and entertaining first poetry collection, From Your Hostess at the T&A Museum ...
—Danielle Shi, ZYZZYVA
A charming and refreshing collection that kindles the imagination. Balma knows how to keep readers engaged.
—Audrey Davis, Independent Book Review / IBR: 45 Books We're Excited About
Balma juxtaposes the concrete and abstract to powerful effect, sometimes adding a dash of absurdity and throwing it all in the blender to produce a punchy concoction that makes you feel as though you've been there, too ... [Her] work contains masterful imagery.
This book takes you on such a journey, to so many places, real and imagined. ... Some of the strength of [Balma's] poems comes from startling juxtapositions and tensions in language, like the title, From Your Hostess at the T&A Museum. ... [It] made me laugh out loud.
From Your Hostess at the T&A Museum pulls off that most difficult of hat tricks in poetry: in addition to being intuitive, surprising and wise, it's also very funny. ... This is an accomplished poetry collection sure to leave you wiser and happier than when you began it.
—BlueInk Reviews / BIR: May Book Recommendations 2022
Witty, fresh, whimsical and musical, From Your Hostess at the T&A Museum is one of those very rare feats, poems of both thought and song ... I found it a joyride from beginning to end, a thoroughly smart and rewarding debut; Balma is a poet I hope to follow for years to come.
—Hailey Leithauser, author of Swoop
Kathleen Balma's debut poetry collection is a marvelous concoction steeped in myth, nostalgia, humor, and the chimerical ... "a complex amalgam of positive and negative" imagery, shining with both wit and wonder.
—Simone Muench, author Wolf Centos
The verity these days is that even a book of poetry has to tell a story. No miscellany! ... Balma triumphs with the first half brimming with slimly related bon-bons, then brilliantly tightrope-walks the entire second half.
—Terese Svoboda, author Mere Mortals
"A ghost needs an audience or it is pointless," writes Balma, and the same can be said about poets. "But does a ghost need a point?" she continues. No. Does a poet? Jeez, I hope not! Poems are toys, not vitamin pills, and these are full of playfulness. They're also full of contradictions (see "Revelation at the Invisible Gun Show"), because between the contra- and the diction is where the poem is found. I won't tell you what "the best sad thing that's happened to me all year" is, but it's a doozy. Read on, reader, and let Kathleen Balma free your mind.