Featured on “The Best Poetry Books of 2019” list in The New York Times.
Featured on “The Best Poetry Boston Gave Us in 2019” list for WBUR.
Featured in Poets & Writers‘ Literary MagNet section in their September/October 2019 issue.
Winner of the 2020 American Fiction Book Award for Contemporary Poetry.
The poems in Andrea Cohen’s Nightshade, her sixth full-length collection, are constructed from the wisdom that comes from loss. Cohen builds a short poem the way a master carpenter does a tiny house, in lines that are both economical and precise, with room enough for sorrow and wit to exist comfortably together. The great pleasure in reading these poems is their surprise and the startling truths they build to: The bride whose dress is sewn “from a hundred/tattered flags/of surrender” and the ever-present reminder of the title poem that the world “trades in/poison and /in balms. We/call it bitter- /sweet––what/living isn’t?”
You took the painting
of the girl on the stair.
You left the stair.
You took the nail
on which the girl
in a pink haze hung.
You left the hole
in horsehair plaster––
and the crumbling
that comes after.