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"As always in Andrews’ work, language is the life-saving force..." —Susan Tichy, author of North Rock Edge


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Betsy Andrews

ISBN-13: 979-8-9859692-2-1

In lyric fury, Betsy Andrews aims at the heart of sickness within our ailing body politic. Cutting and brilliant, she addresses the “dragons” within the birds chased by us into extinction, writing toward the true monsters who plunder the planet for reasons selfish and banal beyond imagining. “Such is the pace of our fabric’s unravel,” she says, following our self-inflicted ecological traumas in generous lines of irresistible rhythm and sound. “Are we through yet with the analogy of the boiling toad?” she asks. Yes, we are, and Andrews turns the heat up high enough we can no longer deny what’s happening around and to us.

—Marcella Durand, author of To Husband is To Tender


Private and planetary angers twist together in Betsy Andrews’ Crowded, rising and falling together in the drunken winds of violence we have come to recognize as home. In a world colored and animated by birds, butterflies, and every beloved creature of the earth, there is no escaping the tiny and feathered father-dragon, whose feet “clamp like Channellocks” among the finches. Where “claws bared to the epoch, the torn shopping bags fan their tails in the branches,” the poem is unashamed of its “nineteen shadow selves,” and flaunts its part in “the modern trade in attention disorder.” Yet the poet’s task is not merely to exhibit its angers. Grief for a very real father is thwarted by the dragon—this real and fantastical omnipresence of both family fury and anthropogenic damage. As always in Andrews’ work, language is the life-saving force, powering forward in long, rhythmic lines, falling in and out of catalog, in and out of rhyme and a punchy hip-hop meter, to “call sadness by its name” and clear a path for mourning.

—Susan Tichy, author of North Rock Edge


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CWA Conference on World Affairs, Boulder, CO, Ode to Earth, Sky, and Oceans livestream reading April 14, 2023

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