The poems in Furs Not Mine display Andrea Cohen’s masterful craft and lyricism and her keen wit. In Cohen’s elegiac shoals, we see how “Great griefs are antidotes / for lesser sorrows,” and in her strange, surprising narratives, we glimpse a man darting into traffic for a hubcap, “meaning to build his dream / vehicle from scrap.” These poems, too, have the feel of dreamy constructions, in which bliss “from a distance, can look like pain.” That’s the magic of this collection: it holds loss and promise in the same image—sometimes even the same word.
Praise for Andrea Cohen
“Who says true wit should be read its last rites? Andrea Cohen’s deft lyric gift makes short work of that dire thought, cutting to the quick of all that casts a spell or a pall. In Furs Not Mine, she’s come into her own by mastering the disarming arts of the pithy epiphany and the mordant lament, the bittersweet testament that takes but three steps from feathers to iron, the beguiling Metaphysical trope with a hard-bitten American twist. Her wily ways with the mother tongue are equal to every curve the world throws, showing over and over how the soul of wordcraft can run rings around ‘the central O / of loss and going on.’” – David Barber
“Furs Not Mine is a book full of completely new form and tone. To call this work ‘intricately crafted’ is an understatement, but needs to be said. Reading these poems, one feels a little afraid to breathe, that to shift a comma or change a line break would be to blow down the cathedral that’s been built out of grains of sand. This is craft, but it’s also infused with mystical moments, sacred intuitions. Delicate and difficult, there are some of the most memorable poems I’ve ever read. Period.” – Laura Kasischke
About Andrea Cohen
Andrea Cohen is the director of The Writers House at Merrimack College and the director of The Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA. She received an MFA from the University of Iowa. Her awards include a PEN Discovery Award and Glimmer Train’s Short Fiction Award.