Reviews

Reviews

"Caution: this book may upend your expectations about what is fit subject matter for poetry. From mothballs to toxic machismo, Fry takes on the perils that lurk in the dark corners of the world and brings them into the light of frank consideration. These poems have their 'arrows of truth' aimed straight at you. They will reshape your thoughts. They may deepen your insights. With larger doses, your imagination may experience an expansion. You may feel yourself craving more and more of the poetic artistry of Andrea L. Fry. You’ve been warned."
"Many of the poems in Andrea Fry’s new collection 'Poisons & Antidotes' elicit a frisson as the poet, clear-eyed and with precise description, depicts plants, situations, people where the extremes of beauty and toxicity, allure and danger mingle and test us. As a practicing oncology nurse, she looks at life without sentimentality but with intense compassion, knowing that while there are no simple choices, it is the ambiguity of life that makes us fully human. Using her medical training as well as her extensive knowledge of the natural world, Fry with deft language creates pictures and tells stories that provoke our emotions and linger in the mind."
“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.”
“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.”
"16th century physician-philosopher Paracelsus famously wrote, "All things are poison. The dose alone makes a thing not a poison." Advanced practice oncology nurse Andrea Fry is the poetic voice of Paracelsus in the 21st century. 'Poisons & Antidotes' is not just a work of medical humanities. Fry uses her clinical skills to diagnose and treat the human condition. Her dosing is measured, exacting, and precise. At times witty, at times disturbing, these poems span the countryside and the city, exploring innocence and shame, delight and pain, the sublime and the mundane. Fry is an important new voice in American poetry and 'Poisons & Antidotes' is required reading for anyone serious about poetry."
"Many of Andrea Fry’s poems have become my favorites, e.g., 'The Renderer' and 'The Secret.' I don’t know if these are the Poisons or the Antidotes of the collection. I just know they are poems – startling, fluent, and precise. They avoid overdosing us with sweetness, but they are deeply heartening. This poet seems to think (and I agree) that accurate observation is better for us than sweetness. So is humor. So is love.
“All of a piece. All original. Hooray!”
“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.”