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The Spellbook of Fruit and Flowers (Fomite Press, OUT NOW!)

The Spellbook of Fruit and Flowers

From the publisher:

The capricious world of relationships is something everyone has navigated, often wishing for a magic spell to release them from its hold. In The Spellbook of Fruit and Flowers, Christine Butterworth-McDermott delves into these dark partnerings, using the symbolism of the natural world, particularly plants and their taxonomy, as metaphor. With references to myth and legend, science and history, these poems trace the dangers that arise from seduction, betrayal, and the need to find “pulp over pit.” Here, snakes slither, pomegranates are bitten, and forests burn. Yet, there is also a determination to embrace the “resilience of flesh and spirit.” Tethered birds are freed, dahlias mean “to survive,” and restorative limes are offered. While never shying away from trauma, and its effects, Butterworth-McDermott always encourages the reader to “blink at the new leaf, the green wood /visible beneath the bark of the vine.” While the world may be full of poison, the poems here are a salve.


“McDermott skillfully treads the line between folklore and reality, connecting women across ages and eras through a heavy history of tender violences rolled sharp and sweet into verse that weaves and winds like a folklore in itself. Here, you, the reader, are acting as witness to the meeting of a strange court, one that trades in memory and imagination, fraught with the speaker’s distinct lexicon spilled across each page, a voice that is sure of itself and all the more impactful for it.”  Monica Robinson for The Spiral Bookcase.

“McDermott uses different fruits and different types of flowers throughout each of the poems as direct odes, or as tactics for symbolism, which gives the poems a fantasy and whimsical feel that will get your own creative brain moving.”  Madeline Mertz for Fairy Tale Magazine.

Evelyn As (Fomite Press, 2019)


Matt Hart says “Evelyn As is a vivid, poetic account of the early life and career of late 19th and early 20th Century chorus girl, artists’ model, and actress Evelyn Nesbit. These dynamic, fraught, and textural poems provide a stunning and heartbreaking portrait of a life of stardom, violence, scandal, and survival, weaving together everything from the Persephone myth and Little Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel and Snow White—not to mention also gaze theory, the sometimes (wildly complicated) transformative power of art, and the roles we all play both willingly and un-. At its heart, Evelyn As is a compelling, gripping, and tragic blockbuster of a book, simultaneously cinematic, awe inspiring, and crushing.”

For further information about Evelyn Nesbit, please click “Evelyn As Exhibition.”


Evelyn As. . .assembles snapshots of a life in order to serve as a source  of real light for those who may desperately need it–those who may still be trapped in the artificial glow of what they are manipulated into believing they are worth.”  Troy Varvel, Crab Orchard Review

Evelyn As offers hope in its interrogation, in its willingness to confront these beasts and men and wolves, through the strength of women’s stories. It is both confession and apology, both love-letter and call to action, a book that will remind you of the importance of watching and listening to the vulnerable around you.”  Joy Clark, Arkansas International

all breathing heartbreak (2019):

A chapbook of poems which includes work from Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, Rattle, River Styx, Southeast Review, Tar River Poetry, and more.


Woods & Water, Wolves & Women (2012):

Jeanne Marie Beaumont notes that “In the tradition of all savvy tale spinners, Christine Butterworth-McDermott reshapes the characters from fairy tales for the contemporary landscape. Full of sassy tone, poignant new angles, wised-up attitudes, and probing psychology, her poems remind us that the faces of seduction, jealousy, curiosity, longing, and rue that appear in the tales are not unlike those we see in our own mirrors, year after year. Through both their familiarity and their strangeness, these poems discover new ways to relight the source material in order to delight the reader.” Note: The author requests that you do not purchase this book from the current publisher.

Tales on Tales: Sestinas (2010):

Gaylord Brewer asserts “Christine Butterworth-McDermott’s Tales on Tales is an eclectic chorus of literary voices. This is an engaging collection that probes what happened and questions why. There are stories to be set straight, and the speakers in these poems refuse to be silenced. From Hemingway to Du Maurier to Margaret Mitchell, in these accomplished sestinas no one’s safe.”