B O O K S
Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq
Edited by Lisa Bowden and Shannon Cain
168 pages, 6 x 9" paper
ISBN 13: 978-1-888553-25-3
POWDER brings us poetry and personal essays from 19 women who have served in all branches of the United States military. Contributors to Powder have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield. Many are book authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships; several hold MFAs from some of the country’s finest programs.
Various Modes of Departure
56 pages, 6 x 9" paper
First Book Award Winner 2004
Deborah Fries’s debut collection, Various Modes of Departure, is mostly about women and the many good-byes they say – to a marriage, a long-lived in home and beloved locale, an elderly father, a threatened landscape. Fries’s lines are mother lodes of sensory images that incorporate regional descriptions, pop cultural images, brand names, references to singing stars, and expert knowledge of earth science and botany. Encyclopedic and smart, Fries’s poems both teach and delight.
The Bright Field of Everything
$16.95, 6 x 9", 64 pgs, perfect bound
Building upon the long-line, lyric narrative style of Deborah Fries’s first volume of poetry, this collection addresses familiar themes of place, love, mortality, and modern life. Place plays a major role in this collection: from the ennui of a Massachusetts suburb and the transience of a town in shale country to the fresh joy found on a Minnesota hiking trail, Fries nurtures a sensibility shaped by surroundings. Love, however, is most often out of place or ill-timed in book, where dolphins shape-shift their way into women’s beds, bucks drive does into oncoming traffic and men are as habituated as elephants. Love and loved ones are both constant and ephemeral in these poems, as the body becomes less reliable, friends are lost and yet, as in the field of everything, they remain with us. The poems in The Bright Field of Everything strive to understand a world that is made thinner by technology, richer through memory and attentiveness, and visual through words chosen like paints.
R E V I E W S
Leonard Gontarek, Poet Despite statements to the contrary, we want poetry to change the world, to change us. Here, in The Bright Field of Everything, we sense the world shift from how it is apprehended to how it is. Deborah Fries is a seer. She reports from the center in a language of remarkable command, stunning beauty, and brilliant accuracy.
John Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer, Poet Deborah Fries' The Bright Field of Everything overflows with almost unbearably vivid poems that open us up anew to the world we live in. Behold cancer, sex, roadkill, or Philadelphia life. Every rift is packed with the telling of life beloved and ironic, full of ecstatic skepticism. The field of everything is here, very bright, with bite and savor.
Simmons Buntin, Editor, Poet If Deborah Fries’s first book, Various Modes of Departure, is an abduction—where readers are taken to a place of memories and hard stories finely documented—then The Bright Field of Everything is a return. Though the shape and station of our return have changed, we reside in a “terrain that can be inhabited or waded through without seeing." Through rich and beguiling lyrics the poet deciphers body, place, science, and the narrative that holds us all together, what she calls “the sweet stratus of look up.” Look up after each poem as you wade into the words and let them hold you, then settle back in for your return. You’ll find it’s a most welcome return, altering, with a light “sizzling like uranium glass” and “everywhere this mucky, sweet Yes.”