Sarah Hannah received a B.A. from
Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She is
currently completing her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia
University's Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences. Her poems have
appeared in Parnassus, The Southern Review, Pivot,
Barrow Street, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crab
Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and other journals. She was
awarded a Governor's Fellowship for residencies at the Virginia Center
for the Creative Arts for summer 2001 and 2002. The original
manuscript which became Longing Distance was a
semi-finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 2002.
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
Wesleyan Writers' Conference
Younger Poets Prize, 2002
Sarah Hannah has taught creative
writing and composition at Wesleyan University, Columbia University,
the 92nd Street Y, and in private workshops in New York City.
She currently teaches a poetry
workshop at the Makor Center of the 92nd Street Y.
(Association of Writers and Writing Programs) convention in Chicago, April 2004.
This is an extremely moving work. I'm
struck by her intelligence of emotion, and her unmistakable voice.
These poems are at once determined, vulnerable, and fierce; she looks
it all straight in the eye. Shadow and lover beware: these poems will
fix you. Sarah Hannah is a true original. I love this book.
The distance of longing, the
proximity of oblivion: the motives that animate these poems are the
contours of perception in a mortal coil. Sarah Hannah is a
physiologist of sight, devoutest scribe to the almost-seen, the
intimated world, even, or especially, as that world is about to be
lost. She is also a worker of wonders. See how, in her hands, the
sonnet becomes an instrument of twenty-first-century meditation. See
how the fish in the marketplace "in greens and ices
swimming" suddenly brings to life again the "river lined
Sarah Hannah's poems are subtly alive
to the many ways the natural world interpenetrates and informs and
interprets human experience. But what impresses me most about them is
their engagement with language itself—words and the forms they
assume—as the link between us and the circumambient universe. Her
work says something at once new and very old, and something we badly
need to hear.
Astronomy, Renaissance literature,
mythology, music, a love of wit and verbal play combined with a
passion for form and scholarship resonate in this lively collection of
poems that marks Sarah Hannah's exciting debut. Whether she is
negotiating Sapphics, syllabics, or sonnets, or contemplating
"the unperceived persistence/in the backward space of
things..." her skills fall gracefully under her sure and delicate
control. This is a stunning first book.
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