Please join Main Street Books in welcoming Davidson College graduate John Fry back to Exit 30 for a reading, signing, and reunion at the bookstore.
John Fry received an AB in English from Davidson College in North Carolina and an MFA in Poetry from Texas State University-San Marcos. He is the author of the chapbook silt will swirl (New Border, 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, West Branch, Blackbird, Tupelo Quarterly, Bellingham Review, Washington Square, Ruminate, and Waxwing, among other places, as well as in the anthologies New Border Voices(Texas A&M UP, 2014) and Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute, 2016). Fry is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is writing a dissertation on medieval English literature.
With the Dogstar as My Witness, published in 2018, is John Fry’s first full-length poetry collection. Organized around the canonical prayer hours, beginning in the evening and moving into morning (vespers, compline, vigils, lauds), and set in an ethereal South Texas landscape, the poems in With the Dogstar as My Witness wrestle with theological and deeply personal concerns in language that is wrenched almost to breaking, but which holds after all and forms a tapestry of (sometimes tortured) prayer.
John Fry is a poet committed to restoring, perhaps even restorying, what we are allowed to imagine, what we are permitted to believe—about others, yes, and also about ourselves. In lieu of answers, he offers insights. In lieu of imperatives, subjunctives. His invocations can be read as benedictions, his benedictions as invocations.
For me, this collection is akin to a queer anointing for any reader who has ever felt lost, cast out, unwelcome. Unlike the promises of evangelical traditions, this book won’t “find” you or “save” you. Instead, with the dogstar as my witness will acquaint you with the “wonders of the thicket” (another of my favorite Fry lines), will show you the beauty of all that is wide and open within you.
-Julie Marie Wade, Lambda Literary