Poetry | paper | $15.95 | 104 pgs | ISBN-13: 978-1-945588-35-8


Andrea Cohen

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?”

Divison Of

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.

Praise by Nick Flynn
Past Praise from Robin Becker
Past Praise from Tony Hoagland
Past Praise from David Barber
Praise by Grace Cavalieri for Washington Independent Review of Books

Nightshade illuminates a world that has been here all along but, for some reason, is very hard to see. Andrea Cohen’s eyes are a terrible gift and these poems are amazing and eerie and perhaps not even hers. Not that she stole them—more that she found them, when no one else could.” —Nick Flynn



“In stark, short lines, Cohen sculpts away the inessential, leaving a spare commemoration of intimacy.” —Robin Becker



“The title of Andrea Cohen’s collection Unfathoming is brilliantly concise: these poems train their attention on the elusive, perhaps insoluble mysteries of the heart—feelings, behaviors, and stories which cannot be not reconciled in tidy narrative closures or snap-shut truths. Cohen’s dominant theme is the elusiveness of intimacy, but the intimacy to which we are repeatedly returned is that problematic one of the self with the self. I love the bafflement as well as the tough, intelligent persistence of the speaker in these interrogations. Terse, linguistically distilled, Cohen’s craft is meticulous, as with her flashlight she prowls and probes, reporting on the emotional transactions of our lives that can only partially be seen. The poetic results are fiercely distinctive and moving.” —Tony Hoagland



“Who says true wit should be read its last rites? Andrea Cohen’s deft lyric gift makes short work of that dire thought, cutting to the quick of all that casts a spell or a pall.” —David Barber

“The author prays to the gods so she can stop praying. And here is the tone of these wry, tight minimalist poems. Each page has either a conundrum or a puzzle at the center, as Cohen tries to light a dark world by strengthening thought and stripping words to their hidden literal meanings….” Read the full review.