I want my reader to feel as if we’re sharing the same space and it’s late at night (because that’s when we all can’t help but be more honest with each other). 

In 2011 I received the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry for my debut collection, Cradling Monsoons – named for the beautiful mess that comprises most of my days as I simultaneously cultivate my relationships with my family and my art.

I’ve been published everywhere from West Virginia’s standardized tests to literary journals such as RATTLE (you can listen to my poem, hereand Green Mountains Review, along with a number of poetry slam anthologies. A distinct honor, my poems are featured alongside Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Ted Kooser in The Spoken Word Revolution Redux.

[Sarah’s] lines seem like intense conversation, but they are, at the same time, deeply engaging poetry that shows a mastery of sound and rhythm …
— William Trowbridge, Missouri Poet Laureate and author of Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems.

My newest book, This Bright Darkness, moves back and forth between modern day-America and ancient Greece, using many voices to explore the myth of Persephone's abduction.

Each poem in this collection of persona poems asks the same central question: How do we, as mothers, as daughters, as women, as wives, stay alive (spiritually, emotionally, physically) in a world where the fact of our bodies makes us vulnerable to acts of violence?

 

How

do I tell her that Man’s desire is hunger,
and we are built for famine. I know

she is trying to disappear, to transmute
herself into light. Air. But the girl

is my stock. And her flesh,
that tightly woven basket,

is built to carry the weight
of every harvest moon.
— Excerpt from "Demeter Watching Persephone at Her Mirror"

Perhaps because I found my way to poetry through spoken word, collaboration is integral to my creative identity.

I devote myself to supporting fellow artists through works that build and grow audiences for the literary arts.

  • My reading series, feedback connects writers and audiences through meaningful conversations about works-in-progress.
  • I am on the editorial board of Spark Wheel Press which is dedicated to publishing collections of exceptional contemporary poetry.
  • I co-edited The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, which won the the 2014 Nebraska Book Award.
[Sarah’s] poems are pure muscle, fierce heart.
— Lee Ann Roripaugh, South Dakota Poet Laureate and author of On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year