Betsy Andrews, The Bottom: A Poem

42 Miles Press

ISBN 9780983074755
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The Bottom: A Poem
2013 Winner of the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award
by Betsy Andrews
paperback, 55


"The Bottom," writes Peter Balakian, "is an unrelenting poem of hypnotic chants, leaps, and catalogs through which Betsy Andrews dives into the vast ocean of the damaged and endangered planet. As she navigates the wreckage and erosion, she also affirms the force of love. This is an urgent lyric vision of our time." 

Carolyn Forché calls it "a water-poet's inventory, cry, and lamentation in one book-length tsunami of plangent musical phrases that might have frothed from the mouth of Whitman."

"In the halcyon days the mighty ocean's depths were the stuff of sublime poetry. Now they are gridded, trawled, and plundered, teeming with everyday living's gunk our Coppertone, our PCBs, our water bottles, our 'polypropylene doodads.' Andrews's kaleidoscopic long poem, with its urgently imaginative lexicon and leaps, reminds us that a day at the beach can be no longer. In its rejection of poetry's tropes and passivity-inducing illusions this important work demands that we stay alert. Have we hit bottom yet?" --Mónica de la Torre

About the Author

Betsy Andrews is the author of New Jersey (University of Wisconsin Press 2007), which was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Her chapbooks include She-Devil (Sardines Press 2003), In Trouble (Boog Press 2004), and Supercollider (2006), a collaboration with the artist Peter Fox. Her writing has appeared widely in publications ranging from Fence, Stone Canoe, and Phoebe to the Yemeni newspaper Culture. She is a graduate of the MFA program in poetry at George Mason University. Betsy is also the executive editor of Saveur magazine. She has taught numerous courses on poetry and creative writing as well as food writing.