'The poems in Andrea Cohen’s Nightshade, her sixth full-length collection, are constructed from the wisdom of loss—of lovers and loved ones and a world gone awry. Cohen builds a short poem the way a master carpenter does a tiny house, in lines that are both economic and precise, with room enough for sorrow and wit to exist comfortably in their spaces. The great pleasure in reading these poems is their surprise in the way the endings arrive again and again in startling truths: The bride whose dress is sewn “from a hundred/tattered flags/of surrender” and the ever-present reminder of the title poem that the things of this world are both “poison and . . . balms” that “We /call . . . bitter- / sweet––what / living isn’t?"
Four Way Books