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The Bottle Diggers, Poems by Andrea Fry
Andrea Fry's poetry collection, The Bottle Diggers, is in the tradition of Joyce an assembly of voices, a cast of characters who tell stories. Sometimes these characters give their own testimony; sometimes they share someone else's story. Some poems recount simple moments; others tell longer tales. But for all of the variations, the storytelling is akin to a psychological or emotional digging, a cerebral parallel to the hunt for antique bottles described in the collection's titular poem. For the bottle diggers, to unearth even a fragment of a bottle is to salvage a story. An old dump ground then becomes a treasure trove of past voices that the diggers are compelled to discover. The bottle diggers have a shared trust that something of value is hidden there, that the voices that echo from the shards they encounter could easily be their own.
"What would turn up if you excavated the foundation of a house that isn't there anymore? The glitter of old glass bottles and the memories they spill, more fascinating for the mystery of lost-and-found, the sadness and joy of the forgotten unearthed, and the simply strange, unaccounted for by any means but the voices rising from it: this is the landscape of Andrea Fry's entertaining, humorous, and poignant The Bottle Diggers, as adventurous in its domestic archaeology as any collection you've read in years."-Lisa Lewis, poetry editor, Cimarron Review
"In her debut collection, The Bottle Diggers, Andrea Fry writes beautifully about the miracles in ordinary lives. Her language is fresh and compelling, as in the title poem, which sets the tone for the collection, and in poems such as 'Sustenance' and 'Flask.' In them she shows us how the observation of common objects from the past can illuminate our present and reveal our common humanity." -Grace Schulman, author of Without a Claim
"All of a piece. All original. Hooray!"-Marie Ponsot, author of Collected Poems by Marie Ponsot
"Andrea Fry's poems display a grounded narrative sensibility. They are poems of astute observation, showing mastery of what one might call 'argument by description,' the conclusions not needing to be stated because the parts have been so tightly, descriptively put together that the end point follows naturally from the parts. The poem, 'After Her Murder' is as technically finished a poem by a new writer as I have read in a long time. It is deceptively simple in its layout, but as one gets into the flow of the poem, one suddenly realizes the hard-won element of control hidden in the lines, from ordinary beginning to surprising ending. This poem, which is followed immediately by the aptly titled, 'Colors Not of the Rainbow,' is one of my favorites in the collection. This is a first book of poems, but the poet is already on her way, the voice clearly her own and not to be confused with that of any other poet. An auspicious debut collection."-Ifeanyi A. Menkiti, proprietor of The Grolier Poetry Book Shop, Cambridge, MA and author of Before a Common Soil
Andrea L. Fry was born in Dallas, raised mainly in New York City and the Catskill Mountains, and educated at Union College and Columbia University. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by J Journal for her poem "Murder." Her poems have appeared in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Stanford Literary Review, St. Petersburg Review, and The Comstock Review, and in the anthology, Still Against War, Poems for Marie Ponsot. Fry is also a nurse practitioner at NYU Langone Medical Center. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two formerly feral felines.
ISBN 978-1625492326, 102 pages, $19.00