From Publishers Weekly
In her new collection, Andrews (Sleeping with Houdini
) takes a candid look at growing up in the South and puts vernacular speech at center stage. There's an abundance of lively phraseology to savor, and the joy of learning to make language one's own is palpable throughout. The chatter of family and neighbors rings out on almost every page, and expressions such as dipping into our lives like a pumpkin vine in compost delightfully animate this coming-of-age narrative. Andrews touches on both the idyllic and melancholy aspects of youth, from sitting on the floor to fiddle/ with the stations on the radio/ and peel a dirty Band-Aid off so slow to listening to Elvis and feeling lonesome for that dusk that was all around me, the daylight fading so fast, I knew nothing ever lasts. Whether writing in prose poems or short-lined free verse, Andrews's voice is marked by an effortlessness that can send the reader into a pleasing state of reverie; her art lies in her ability to transport readers to a place where it's possible to savor the waning of childhood innocence. (Oct.)
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"Southern Comfort reads like a poetic memoir doled out anecdote by anecdote, each one tinged with an awareness of the unspoken―the underlying ambivalence, shame and desperation common to too many of our childhoods. Long time fans of Andrews’ daring and inventive poetry will discover a different side to her aesthetic in this thoroughly compelling and moving book." (Mark Cox)
"Southern Comfort has all the essential ingredients: grandmas, biscuits, snakes, stringed instruments, a boy named Jimmy, ghosts, and the Lord. Andrews turns her wickedly accurate imagination on these details and alchemizes them into a poetry of mythic proportions in this deeply funny, deeply intelligent, truly southern book." (Maggie Anderson)