Martha Collins's third book of poems, ""A History of Small Life on a Windy Planet"", was chosen by David Ignatow in 1990 for the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay Di Castagnola work-in-progress award. Citing the ""jazz staccato"" with which Collins ""presents our lives and loves in their perpetual and rapid transformations"", Ignatow praised the collection for its ""unique ability to fix each passing phase of a swiftly moving rootless society in triumphant style"". Collins's book testifies to the integrity of an artist who has seen a great deal of the world. The collection is filled with variety, yet the poems are also engaged with one another, as if braided together. There is a sense of urgency throughout, as the personal enters history and history invades the personal. If there are no easy answers to the questions Collins raises, there are, by the end of this quirky and incisive collection, some oblique comforts.