Andrew Hemmert is the author of Sawgrass Sky. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various magazines including the Cincinnati Review, the Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, and the Southern Review. He won the 2018 River Styx International Poetry Contest. He earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and currently lives in Thornton, Colorado.
Blessing the Exoskeleton is a southerner’s book about Michigan. Written over a two-year period in Kalamazoo, Andrew Hemmert’s poems address climate change, labor, love, and his attempts to live joyfully in a deteriorating world. Though the majority of these poems are narrative, they approach their stories in roundabout and slanted ways. A meditation on job seeking begets a story about the author’s father attempting to catch an owl in a fishing net. A fire down the road from the author’s apartment begets a meditation on telemarketing. Personal histories collide with headlines, resulting in poems that convey everyday experience and seek to praise it. Despite the northern cold and the tyranny of the news, Hemmert develops his own theories for navigating his life, finding beauty in an unfamiliar landscape and climate.