Thursday, 3 January 2019

Sarah Rosenthal : part one

Sarah Rosenthal is the author of Lizard (Chax, 2016), Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009), and several chapbooks. A collaboration with poet Valerie Witte is forthcoming from The Operating System. Sarah edited A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Poets of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive, 2010). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction has appeared in numerous journals and is anthologized in Kindergarde: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, and Stories for Children (Black Radish, 2013), Building is a Process / Light is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim (P-Queue, 2008), Bay Poetics (Faux, 2006), The Other Side of the Postcard (City Lights, 2004), and hinge (Crack, 2002). She has done grant-supported writing residencies at VSC, Soul Mountain, Ragdale, NY Mills, and Hambidge, and has been a Headlands Center Affiliate Artist. She lives in San Francisco where she works as a Life & Professional Coach and serves on the California Book Awards jury.

How important is music to your poetry?

When I’m working at the top of my form, my ear drives my work. Image is important but probably second in line. I grew up surrounded by music and musicians and played the piano and flute—this has seeped in, along with the musics of multiple languages I heard as a child and my parents’ love of wordplay. Zukofsky’s maxim is always in my thoughts: upper limit music; lower limit speech. I feel compelled and designed to write poetry that means, not only in the way that sound, at the radical end, communicates its own meaning but also in the ways that we usually think of words communicating.

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