How to Leave a Farmhouse // Beth McDermott

How to Leave a Farmhouse engages the landscape, flora, and the manmade, to weave a multi-part narrative of place. Structures are left behind to become a part of the historical and visual character of this land—these poems draw from documents and paintings, then imagine something deeper, crafting something that’s a little bit ekphrasis, a little bit record, and something that’s almost the ghost story of a farmhouse. “What’s intact, you’ve learned, / is the upside of ruinous. What’s ruinous is documented / before it disappears. What disappears—this is what it means / to go out with guns blazing as someone else is taking / the bull by the horns…” (Porkbelly Press, 2015) //  available from our shop

The chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. Its cover is printed via inkjet on Epson matte photo paper. Each book is handbound & trimmed.

An excerpt from “The Mushroom Farmer:”

A new housing development threatens to budge [her] another time, for the last time.

-Goodness Greeness “Farm Spotlight”

I read about her digging
her heels in

soil that tended to
ball up

on the plow.  The feature
story is her chance

to self-promote,
even though nothing

will save her
from eminent

domain, including
her revulsion

for starter spawn.
Yet her perspective is so

the public can’t

translate it.
Who cares

that she uses
manure, which stems

from maneuver?
Here she is

among the fruiting
bodies, shining

her lamp over racks
of shitake.

Their spores require
such sterility—

a room like a cave
with the ground

swept clean.

About the the poet:

Beth McDermott has received first place in the Regional Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest and an Honorable Mention for the Associated Writing Programs’ Intro Award in Poetry.  Her poems have recently appeared in journals such as DIAGRAM, Harpur Palate,, and Jet Fuel Review.  She holds degrees from Hope College, Purdue University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently Visiting Professor of English at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL.

About the cover artist:

Nicci splits her time between exploring, telling tales, and painting girls with inky tattoos. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with a pack of roomies & rescue animals specializing in troublemaking and joy.

@damnredshoes //