Sawgrass Sky is a coming-of-age story, a Floridian memoir-in-verse. Through the speaker’s recounting of his adolescence, the collection addresses themes of religious disillusionment, sexual awakening, body image, environmental degradation, suburbia versus the wild, familial history, and the idea of home contextualized by distance. These poems vary in form and style, including long narratives, meditative sequences, prose poems, and short lyrics. The unifying factor is the speaker’s focus on the place he comes from, and his struggle to define that heritage in terms psychological, natural, and familial.
Andrew Hemmert is a sixth-generation Floridian. His poems have appeared in various magazines, including The Cincinnati Review, The Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner. He won the 2018 River Styx International Poetry Contest. He earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.