WHO ARE YOU?
I am a poet, teacher, webzine editor, and audiophile. Recently, I started a very small press to help publish chapbooks and art brochures for friends. Since 1992, I have made 6 of my own chapbooks and really love helping others having something on paper to show off their work. I think it's a perfect summer job!
WHAT DON’T WE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
SARAH @ A GLANCE
Disorder: Mental Illness and It's Affects by Red Dashboard
Storm Cycle: Best of 2013 by Kind of a Hurricane Press
East Jasmine Review
CHAPBOOK: Unanchored (2013)
FAVORITE POET: Sharon Olds
FAVORITE POETRY BOOK: The Gold Cell
CURRENTLY READING: Rachel McKibbens’ Into the Dark & Emptying Field
People assume because I am a teacher that I was a great student. I was terrible, but mostly for lack of motivation. Now, I have a Master's Degree in Education.
I have moved more than 20 times, never left Southern California, and I started my 8th elementary school in 5th grade. (No military parents.) Now, I am a proud homeowner of 6 years!
Less than 2 years ago, if you asked me if I was a poet, my answer would have been no. Now, I run a poetry website, co-host a monthly poetry reading, have a new chapbook, have a 12-track recording of me reading to music, and am about to complete a full length poetry manuscript.
HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT THE POETRY LAB AND WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST EVENT?
I first heard about The Poetry Lab in February 2013 when Danielle Mitchell came to Murray Thomas’ Barnes and Noble reading to promote it. I thought she was crazy to have the very first meeting on Valentine's Day. I was finally able to check it out in April at the first Submission Sesh. I went home with my head spinning with ideas and information.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT SUCCESS AT THE POETRY LAB?
Poetry Lab was the springboard for creating the website focusing on Long Beach area poets and poetry events. I got the idea after the first meeting, but continued to lean on my Poetry Lab community to help develop and expand the website.
HOW HAS THE POETRY LAB CHANGED YOUR COMMUNITY?
I feel I have a strong group of friends who I trust my children with. I have learned to be open to new ideas about revision and inspiration. I have also learned to trust my own voice in the end because we are all a very diverse group of poets with different perspective and life experiences to bring to the table. It's like a family, who argue and get on each other's nerves, but challenge us to be better.
HEAP OF YOUR LIFESarah Thursday
I reach for them
black plastic bags stuffed
with my clothes, my toys,
my stuffed animals.
They lie in piles in the back
rear facing seat of the station wagon.
At once they are shiny and dull
the black heaps on heaps of each other.
I want to crawl on top of them,
lie belly up staring out
of the back window. I do.
At once they are sharp
and comforting, the black masses
of my eight year old life.
I wait for the dark
street lights to quiet down
so I can sleep. My brother
has the middle and my mother
in the front driver's seat.
We are parked far enough
from the road so the parking lot
feels like a night mirage
and an old station wagon
asks for no audience.
My bed of black bags is
familiar. All those clothes
and toys of mine came
from older girls who have
already out grown them.
Someday, I will also
out grow them.
ABOUT "HEAP OF YOUR LIFE"
DID YOU WRITE THIS POEM IN THE POETRY LAB?
Yes, the night we discussed Imitation. Danielle brought in poems from an Autumn House anthology one by Jane Mead called “Passing a Truck Full of Chickens at Night on Highway Eighty” it ended with a someday line. The prompt was to take consider the poem and write a imitating piece either responding, borrowing, or continuing from it.
WHAT ELSE INSPIRED THIS POEM?
1. The writing prompt inspired me. The poem was a detailed description of a very specific moment in time.
2. My mother writing her memoirs has made me think a lot about wanting to document my own childhood. Especially moments like this that feel surreal to me now.
3. A book called, How to Steal a Dog, has these kids who live with their mom in a car. I remember doing that once with my mom.