cover design: Aby Normal

cover design: Aby Normal

At the intersection of spiritual mysticism and quantum mechanics lies the earth-shattering existential philosophy that reality itself is, by nature, subjective.The debut poetry collection of Boston-based educator, activist, and spoken word poet Katya Zinn, human verses takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through the spectrum of consciousness. The poems within explore our everyday preoccupation with the collective illusion of a singular universe, while ensconced in personal, self-constructed universes of perception. A defiant examination of trauma, loss, healing, and survival by an exciting new voice in poetry, this book will change your perspective on what it means to suffer, to persevere, and ultimately, what it means to be human.

critical praise for human verses

Zinn's style is experimental and mercurial, adopting a satisfying mode that both challenges poetry readers and delights the reader's mind and heart with fresh, original verse and emotional connections. Human Verses is a chapbook not for the faint of heart, but for the questioning and examining mind that will find delight in these expressions of transformation. Between here and eternity, there are gems like Human Verses to light the path forward and the pitfalls inherent in the journey that is life. Poetry readers who enjoy blends of personal expression and universal hope are in for a treat.”

Midwest Book Review, July 2021

There is something very engaging about Katya Zinn’s writing. Perhaps it is the way that she chronicles her struggles with a kind of ironic detachment, almost more like an interested observer rather than a participant. Even as she recalls traumatic events, she has an eye for the bizarre...I am delighted to give this book 4 out of 4 stars. ”

Online Book Club, May 2021

authors review human verses

In their debut Human Verses, Zinn takes the reader on a wonderfully nuanced and intricate journey through the issues closest to her heart, winding gracefully from gendered violence to addiction to the pursuit of simple, unadulterated joy. Throughout, Zinn never shies away from being blisteringly and refreshingly honest, with a voice that is equal parts incredibly clever (and at times funny) and painstakingly genuine. The result is a body of work that is beautiful in its vulnerability and stunning in its ability to be so wholly and authentically human. 

–Lip Manegio, author of We’ve All Seen Helena 

Katya Zinn holds nothing back in these poems, human verses is filled with an unmistakable kinetic energy that grabs you and does not let go. These poems refuse to exist neatly on the page but rather let the narrative control how the words move. Both imaginative and unexpected, Zinn’s poems tackle mental illness, human intimacy, and the will to survive in a way that feels both genuine and careful. These poems are tough and do not shy away from hard truths, as Zinn tells it: “Guilt proves the laws of entropy. We’ve observed how it slides, through blood-slick hands and settles: in empty places”. But if you are willing to trust the author, you will walk away from this collection with a richer appreciation of how fierce the human spirit can be, even in its lowest moments. 

–Brandon Melendez, author of Gold that Frames the Mirror / Academy of American Poets awardee 

Katya Zinn’s human verses is a defiant collection that grapples with acceptance & resilience. The poems are forthright in their unpacking of complex histories. There are moments where wisdom is laid out plainly, but with an exasperation that the knowing has not transformed the circumstances. In other moments, no simple or clean revelation is available, but there is grace in attempting to know. Katya graciously invites the reader in, as she forgives our “private acts of pretending,” while at the same time, relentlessly pursues honesty— both in deserving it from others and achieving it for herself. 

–James Merenda, author of Washed Clean of Summer’s Dust