The Ministry of Flowers
Valley Press, Nov 2020
A truly compelling and
John Sibley Williams
As the world grapples with the tragic human cost of the global pandemic and its aftermath, the need for kindness and gratitude has become more important than ever. The Ministry of Flowers is in many ways a book for our times, one that offers hope in a changing world. The poems call into stark relief the brevity of human life, while also emphasizing the urgent need to connect with others and offer acts of kindness as a way of healing and moving forward.
Taking its title from an Emily Dickinson poem, the book explores how flowers, both real and metaphorical, are at the heart of a kinder world. With a strong ecological focus, the poems celebrate nature’s continual ministry in our lives and highlight the need to respect the ecosystems that sustain us. The Ministry of Flowers speaks eloquently to a post-pandemic society, one in which compassion as well as forgiveness (of both self and others) become the seeds of the gentler, fairer world we seek.
Cover design by Jamie McGarry
Cover illustration by the author
To find a new beauty
Gold Wake Press, 2012
"A refreshingly well-read debut from a talented poet.”
Kristina Marie Darling. Read the full review at LitPub here.
read three poems from the book here
A bestseller on two “hot new release lists”
(Poetry and General Literature/Poetry)
"Andrea Witzke Slot's TO FIND A NEW BEAUTY is rich with cool, intelligent and carefully crafted poems that often have a subtext of terror and darkness. She uses a variety of personae—Penelope, Eurydice, Io, the nymph on Keats's Grecian urn, a woman who marries her sister's widower and others—in land- [and sea-] scapes that are powerful personae too in these poems."— Marge Piercy
"In the background of Andrea Witzke Slot's TO FIND A NEW BEAUTY glimmers the controlling metaphor of the Biblical garden; in the foreground is the body's desire, longing that reveals itself in tensions that roil between origin and some possible, almost imaginable, end point.... The speaker's restless eye keeps catching upon images from the landscape that suggest to her what alternative garden might still be created by human hands. What lay between Alpha and Omega are transience, uncertainty and shifting tides. This is a volume of poetry, then, celebrating animation, celebrating pilgrimage not so much in its common religious or secular senses, but rather in a qualified archetypal sense; that is, these poems trace the human quest to recover the sacred via the potential transformative powers inherent in human agency."— John Hoppenthaler
"How have you been haunted? TO FIND A NEW BEAUTY, Andrea Witzke Slot's first book of poems enumerates the many ways that elegy, witnessing, and the dead haunt the living. With elegies that at once celebrate the dead and long for their touch, TO FIND A NEW BEAUTY is interested in just that—finding a beauty in the refuse, in what is left, in the hulking remains of grief. Quite simply, the moan of the dead haunts the reader. Through an intense intimacy, Slot's poems touch the reader 'like a ghost whose white dress whispers over the sheets of your bed.' Be prepared to be touched."—Roger Reeves
"Slot's work stands equal with that of Snyder and Oliver. With bewitching language, she pulls the reader into a gentle current of rolling imagery. Suspended within the flow of these pages, I was carried to a place of calm reflection."— L. M. Browning
Inhabiting "La Patria": Identity, Agency, and "Antojo" in the Work of Julia Alvarez
SUNY Press, 2013
Andrea's essay “'Between the Scylla and the Charybdis': Remapping Subjectivity in the Dialogic Waters of Julia Alvarez’s 'The Other Side/El Otro Lado'” illustrates how the social fabric of dialogic interaction in Alvarez's long poem is driven by the intense subjectivity and structural/contextual power of the poetic form. By circling the power structures of speech and social class structures, Alavarez's poem not only gives voices to those who are without voice but, more importantly, awakens readers to the thought patterns that often invisibly limit ourselves and others. Drawing on theories by Chela Sandoval, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Homi Bhabha, the essay demonstrates Alvarez uses the “in-between” of cultures, classes, and languages to create insurgent emancipatory weaponry in her complex, multi-voiced work.
Read through PROJECT MUSE or buy the book here:
Dialogism and Poetry: Hearing Over
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
Andrea's essay "Dialogic Poetry as Emancipatory Technology: Ventriloquy and Voiceovers in the Rhythmic Junctures of Harryette Mullen’s Muse & Drudge" focuses on the complex movement of subjectivity in Mullen's work through the act of ventriloquy. By demonstrating how this play on voice--as it occupies numerous ideological positions--the essay who's how the poetic form can break down and break through the subtle forms of subjugation that continue to infiltrate social relationships and thought.
Read the essay HERE OR buy the book here: