ISBN: 978-1-73278-669-1
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Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry


Publication Date: January 2020


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Cryptopedia was originally published by Nomadic.

Cryptopedia by Andrew Demcak speaks directly to the secret sides of our beings, to our shadow-selves. It is the oldest story we have, and it wants to be told. This collection comes from a place where children go missing, where monsters roam freely, and urban myths transform into realities.


Everyone knows the uncanny is queer, and sexy. By cutting into Wikipedia articles about creepy phenomena, Andrew Demcak’s Cryptopedia magically brings forth layers of sexuality, and mystery, camp, culture, and humor. An intriguing and inspiring poetry.
Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave, How To Grow Up.

Cryptopedia succeeds with that most fundamental and pleasing of poetic ideas: finding harmony between form and content. Andrew Demcak is a Renaissance man who works in unusual ways, cutting up blocks of text from a variety of sources and rearranging them, to create his poems. In Cryptopedia he mixes this method with the murky, monstrous, and mysterious to create something unsettling yet genuinely moving and thought-provoking. Demcak’s success comes from his pitch-perfect subject choices and his ability to turn a seemingly random selection of lines and quotes into a twisting narrative, a short, emotive gut-punch. It takes talent to write poetry, but Demcak has proved he is not only a great talent, but a true craftsman.
Josh King, writer for NewFound Literary Journal

About the Author

Andrew Demčák

Andrew Demčák is a third generation Czechoslovakian-American, poet, and novelist, the author of six poetry collections and eight Young Adult novels. His books have been featured by The American Library Association, Verse Daily, The Lambda Literary Foundation, The Best American Poetry, Kirkus Reviews, and Poets & Writers. He was recently selected to be the keynote speaker at the California Library Association's annual conference to celebrate his contributions to LGBTQ+ Young Adult literature. He was also a finalist for the prestigious Dorset Poetry Prize, the Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize,  The Crazyhorse Poetry Award, and the Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence in Poetry. He did win the Three Candles Press Open Book Award, selected by the phenomenal poet, Joan Larkin, for his first poetry collection, Catching Tigers in Red Weather (2007).

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