H.E. Fisher, Author & Editor

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Sterile Field

by H.E. Fisher

Free Lines Press


Cover art by Santiago del Conde

ISBN 978-1-4717-3997-2

About the Collection

Written through a caregiver's lens, Sterile Field explores the nexus of the climate crisis, health care system, and our bodies.


In this collection, H.E. Fisher experiments with a variety of poetry forms as she brings us closer to Earth and to each other. In times when healing and caring are our last hope, Sterile Field is a love letter to our bodies, Earth, and life itself.

Advance Praise

Anyone who has had any experience with the medical industrial complex knows how dehumanizing, disorienting, and difficult it is to navigate. In this deeply compassionate collection, H.E. Fisher allows us to experience the struggle of her husband's heart failure and transplant right along with her. We witness, from every angle, the complexities and contradictions of being a patient and a caregiver during late-stage capitalism where our bodies and the earth are struggling to survive. Fisher examines received ideas of sickness and health, and examines the way privilege, systemic racism, and classism cause harm in a myriad of subtle and overt ways. In "Recovery" she writes, "After surgery we learned/ it is the American way/ to live with a permanent wound." Adept at lyric, narrative, and hybrid, and using both found language and medical texts, Fisher has written a book of her husband's heart transplant that also works as a metaphor for our society that is slowly poisoning us and the natural world. It is both a personal narrative and a political call to action. It is an astonishing debut.

—Jennifer Franklin, author of No Small Gift (Four Way Books, 2018)


H.E. Fisher’s manuscript, Sterile Field, is a breathtaking examination of our environments: nature, marriage, and oneself. Fisher’s ability to capture the individuality and the flow between the environments picks up on the uncanny and sublime in ways that mirror not only the experimental, contemporary poetry heavyweights like Anna Walden and Anne Carson, but also echo the formal prose of gothic greats such as Mary Shelley and Jane Austen. There’s a truth in these poems that can only be expressed as pugnaciously genuine and refreshingly murky. Any reader of Fisher’s work will instantly connect to all the gritty versions of love that exist in their realms.  

—Kristine Esser Slentz, author of woman, depose (FlowerSong Press, 2021)