Forthcoming poems in… Yemassee, 8 Poems, Gigantic Sequins, Emry’s Journal, Barely South Review, The Broken Plate, & elsewhere.
What We Mean When We Say Holy // January
KAKALAK (Winner of 2018 KAKALAK Poetry Prize)
Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine
Split Rock Review
Open Minds Quarterly
museum of americana
Ecology of Queers
Poetry on the Comet
Poetry Society of South Carolina
The Water This Time
Elegy to an Accent
The Southern Tablet
All Yesterdays Look Golden Through Telescopes
Prayer for Carolina
Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County
Declin Ostrander is an unwilling nomad always moving from town to town. His father works as a lawyer for the Knights of Southern Heritage, a thinly disguised white supremacy movement. Right now, they're in Lickskillet, S.C. where Mr. Ostrander plans to defend a man accused in a racially motivated murder. As far as Declin's concerned, it's more of the same: new town, new school, new, batch of all-too-familiar bigoted towns people. Constantly moving schools does give him the opportunity to continuously reinvent himself through lies, imagination and the gullibility of his fellow students. Surrounded by social segregation, class division and ingrained resistance to change on the part of the townsfolk, Declin and five fellow high school seniors will launch a rebellion against their expected roles life. In doing so, they'll discover the truth behind Lickskillet's dirty secrets.
Skinny Dipping with Strangers
This collection of poems captures an autobiographical narrative that details a mumbled childhood, a mushroom-cloud adolescence, and an early adulthood of poetic ambitions. With humor, sincerity, and lyrical flourish, these poems transcend mechanics and grasp something close to truth. They cover subjects as broad of teen partying, grief, the importance of art majors, teen suicide, beach visits, the act of reinvention, and emotional nakedness.
"When I read these poems, I can hear Derek’s voice screaming from the page. He has a great ability to make you feel each emotion in his words. He’s really one of the best young poets in the Charleston area, and he’s made me excited about the scene again. It’s scary to realize that this is his first book – imagine where the brother will be in a few years. Hold on."
-Marcus Amaker, poet, author of The Spoken Word, The Present Presence, and other poetic works, Graphic designer
"On both page and stage, Derek Berry is a poetic volcano: his poems erupt with energy, emotional fireworks, and bursts of imaginative brilliance. Underneath the kinetic energy of his live performances, there is also a fine poet at work, crafting lines filled with wit and honesty. Derek is certainly one to watch in the world of spoken word poetry."
- Matthew Foley, poet, author of We Could Be Oceans
Poems Performed Live