FIGHT or FLIGHT
by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
forthcoming March 2023
Stephen F Austin University Press
FIGHT or FLIGHT artifacts the trauma of McFadyen-Ketchum's divorce after ten years of marriage and the journey he took across the wilds of America (living in a twelve-person tent on the California coast, getting intentionally lost in the Utah desert, tracking wild animals in the bitter cold of Indiana winters) in search of healing that led to the greatest discovery of all: his indigenous wife and her three indigenous children he now calls his own.
What People Are Saying...
"I read FIGHT or FLIGHT in one wide-eyed-and-wondrously-rapt sitting, but that doesn’t mean I won’t return often to this miraculously uplifting book of lost and found romantic and familial love. McFadyen-Ketchum’s soul-lifting poems are flooded with bird song, hoodoos, planets, leaping spiders, coyotes, and watchful crows, to name a few. What begins as a desperate, desolate solo camping trip ends with a new love’s “hand / Pressed hard / To this pained man’s heart.” With their foxglove, star-nosed moles, and glowing snakes, these poems will fill you with renewed reverence for worldly and celestial splendors. McFadyen-Ketchum takes us on an unforgettable journey from despair to joy, from utter aloneness to a life teeming with love and light." -Martha Silano
"Besides its succinct and agile depictions of boyhood, natural landscapes, domestic unease, and shattered love, this third book by Andrew McFayden-Ketchum is noteworthy for its candid conveyance of a man's deep longing for children in the aftermath of an upending divorce. How the speaker resolves that anguished desire for fatherhood via newfound love and acquired family makes FIGHT or FLIGHT especially poignant and satisfying." -Cyrus Cassells
Read a selection of poems here: