The Bottle Diggers
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.