Poisons & Antidotes, a new collection of poetry by Andrea L. Fry

Poisons & Antidotes is a new collection by Andrea L. FryAbout Poisons & Antidotes

In Poisons & Antidotes, life is inhabited by things that kill us and things that save us. But it’s never black and white, because poisons exist on a continuum, each increment representing some gradation of toxicity. Sometimes poison is clearly recognizable; other times it sits side by side with the innocuous and the borders are blurred. In this collection, poison is a metaphor for the degree of human connectedness to the world. The delirious voices in the poems are trapped in their own subjectivity, unable to see beyond their own strange stories. Just as poison becomes less virulent across the continuum, the poetic voices acquire a gradual awareness of themselves in relation to their world. By the end of the collection, it is as if human experience also exists on a kind of continuum. The expression of this vast range of experience—with all its subtleties, contradictions and ironies—is the antidote to human disconnectedness.

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Endorsed by Peggy L. Fox

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,  or 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.

—Peggy L. Fox, President and Publisher Emerita, New Directions Publishing Corp.

Endorsed by Jeanne Marie Beaumont

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.

—Jeanne Marie Beaumont, author of Letters from Limbo, Burning of the Three Fires

Endorsed by Sarah White

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.

—Sarah White, author of Iridescent Guest and Wars Don’t Happen Anymore

Endorsed by Daniel P. Sulmasy

The 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.

—Daniel P. Sulmasy, MD, PhD

    Acting Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University


New poetry collection by L.R. Berger

Indebted to Wind new collection by award winning LR BergerEndorsements from the back cover

The wind in these eloquent, elegant, tensile poems is present as spirit, of course; as spirit it can manifest as the longing or fate of the body (it expires), as intellectual momentum (it inspires), as power for social justice (it aspires). In all these modes, L.R. Berger both controls the energy as form, and honors the charge of the moment through perception by brilliant perception, breath by mortal breath.

—Stephen Tapscott

In this beautiful new book, words are unusually alive and active in the poet’s capable hands. A whispered finale meaning finally, a riff on up, and an exploration of the letter P : these are among the linguistic players that address both personal loss and political realities, which L. R. Berger explores with searing honesty, emotional depth, and lyric grace. No precious word is wasted here; you will read carefully and gratefully, and want to read again.

—Martha Collins

L.R. Berger’s work has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, The PEN New England Discovery Award and The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.  She was Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome, and has been granted residencies at The MacDowell Colony, The Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, Wellspring House and The Hermitage.  Her collection of poems, The Unexpected Aviary, received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry.

available now for early orders

Praise for The Unexpected Aviary

The quality of persistent attention in Berger’s work constitutes, I think, the heart of the poetic act. It matters that her attention is paid to such endangered objects as human love and the extra-human natural world; to the intricate connection between our conduct of love and that imperiled world.

—Mary Baine Campbell

Philemon and Baucis

Here is one beautiful poem by David Sloan from his book, The Irresistible In-Between, (Deerbrook Editions, 2013).

David Sloan was at the MWPA Literary Awards ceremony and it is always a pleasure to see him. He has received a number of awards for poems in the Poetry Short Works category.

It being the solstice, I thought I’d pick this poem as, picking up his book yesterday, it opened to it. I was reminded how many good poems are in this book. Another deserving author with a good book.


Philemon and Baucis

The wonder isn’t the gods’ appearance,
nor their beggarly disguises. Zeus

and Hermes love the earth—olive oil,
gullible women, the substantiality of marble,

that peculiar human failing of caring
too much. It’s the old couple themselves,

the way they welcome the strangers,
give up their stools, offer them wine

and apricots, stoke the fire, how they touch
each other’s shoulders. They gasp

when the wineskins refill themselves.
In the sudden light they kneel

before their guests, gold peeking
from beneath the rags, feel the dizzying

closeness of divinity. When the gods
grant one wish to repay their hospitality,

the wonder is what the couple
passes up— a wooden floor, new cook

pot, lifetime supply of firewood,
fleece-lined cloaks, the child

they never conceived. Instead
they ask only not to outlive

one another. It’s the gods’ turn
to gape. When the time comes,

the couple feels the forest taking them.
Sap rises, fingers send out leaf shoots,

bark creeps up, closes over their mouths,
but not before Farewell love,

overheard by hushed birds and caught
in the cleaved air, linden and oak

now a single trunk, entwined.

A stack of new and recent titles

DE titles spines

Lots of new books


Here we are in “a post-truth world” . . . a complicated world of media outlets, on the air and online, where rhetoric, jargon, imagined conspiracies, lies and deception permeate, leaving us to weed through with our educated mind and common sense, in search of bits of gnosis. 

Lovers of poetry and literature in general, weed no further. There is nothing pretentious about work that is made with a love of creativity, essential observation and experience, and full with imagination.

Deerbrook Editions has a pile of new and recent titles, some which might fit into your idea of “arts and entertainment.” Because we know that there are many generations and types of readers with varying tastes, we offer most titles in a quality preview form on issuu.com, and most of these are embedded on book pages on the press Website.

Then if you find something interesting, remember that shipping is free in the USA. 

New poetry from Deerbrook Editions

cover grab KIN S

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds Of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would ‘All Kinds of Fur’ say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Available now only on the press site.

  Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.