Years drain the energy from some poets, but Joan Colby's work is as fresh and creative as ever, perhaps more so. Ribcage showcases the poet's rich imagination on subjects attempting to reconcile body and mind. The first section of the book ("The Body in Question") extends metaphors from various body parts (heart, blood, nerves, finger and hands, etc.), and the last section ("The Mind at Play") continues with a rich lyric and imagery often sung from a mystic sensibility. Humor and irony are also part of the poet's toolbox, as in "Chewed to Meat Hooks" in which the purposes of the hand are revealed: Which leads us to the signifier/Insolent as a poker. To be used/For motorists who cut me off. Particularly in the last section, the imagery carves itself a place in the memory because it shocks with profound truth, as in my favorite, "The Nature of Freedom," which begins with "An open door is terrifying." Thankfully, the poet has opened doors into views we need to see.
—Robert S. King, author of Developing a Photograph of God