New Release: Andrew Hemmert, Sawgrass Sky

Sawgrass Sky: Poems
Andrew Hemmert

Available here

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.

“In Sawgrass Sky, Andrew Hemmert reveals a Florida that’s left out of the guidebooks, a place where mountains rise from refuse-heaps, black bears prowl the suburbs, and the past ‘is like an orange grove / abandoned behind broken barbed wire.’ Hemmert probes that past in poems dizzy with insights, always reaching for, and finding, the most surprising yet precise images. Though set in the woods and waters of a particular childhood, this thrilling debut is a larger reckoning with the homes we leave and those we make in the world.”

—Chelsea Rathburn, author of Still Life with Mother and KNife

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.

Available here

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