Sarah Rosenthal

Sarah Rosenthal (Fiction, Hybrid, Poetry) | San Francisco, CA

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Sarah Rosenthal is the author of Lizard (Chax, 2016) and Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009) as well as several chapbooks including Estelle Meaning Star (above/ground, 2014), disperse (dusie, 2014), The Animal (in collaboration with artist Amy Fung-yi Lee, dusie, 2011), How I Wrote This Story (Margin to Margin, 2001), sitings (a+bend, 2000), and not-chicago (Melodeon, 1998). She edited A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Poets of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive, 2010). She received a BA magna cum laude in Literature and Society from Brown University and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is the recipient of the Leo Litwak Fiction Award, a Creative Capacity Innovation Grant, a San Francisco Education Fund Grant, and grant-supported writing residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Soul Mountain, Ragdale, and New York Mills. From 2009–2011 she was an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. Originally from Chicago, she lives in San Francisco where she works as a Life & Professional Coach and serves on the California Book Awards poetry jury.


Lizard (Chax Press, 2016). Poetry.
A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Poets of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive, 2010). Interviews.
Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2009). Cross-genre (fiction, poetry, reviews).
Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2009). Cross-genre (fiction, poetry, reviews).



Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“’How does/ a lizard sing?’ Rosenthal’s poem asks, long after it has answered—with a series of tight, deft ventures into the gestural world of the lacertilia, ‘Sluggish at dawn,/ brutal at noon.’ ‘Study the other,’ the poem commands, including self as other ‘—Throw “she”/ in there and Lizard/ immediately thinks it’s/ her.’ In coexistence with ‘other’ genders, other animals, and especially with other words, Lizard flashes ‘fabulist mail’ at every turn, in surprising captures. Lizard owns categories (‘When you stop/ the pronouns/ explode’) but categories evaporate as the poem works at ‘unimagining’ Lizard, asking, ‘Is lizard nature?’ A delightful dream song, a tour de force in narrow measures. ‘Her sudden/ form defines the zero/ point I so adore.'”
—Jonathan Skinner, on Lizard

“What Steve Abbott and Bruce Boone achieved with the Left/Write Unity Conference in early eighties San Francisco, bringing together differing groups of poets, Sarah Rosenthal thankfully reenacts in her collection of interviews with Bay Area writers. In A Community Writing Itself twelve poets serving various poetics, from Language writing to New Narrative, are allowed to break consensus regarding the notion of a singular development of shared ambitions. As approaches to the politics of writing are individually charted, connections and communities unfold. If one is interested in the evolution of American poetry since 1950, it is necessary to engage these conversations.”
—Claudia Rankine, on A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Writers of the Bay Area

“I like Sarah Rosenthal’s Manhatten because it’s generous with self. Also alarmingly well written. And best of all, Manhatten awkwardly and beautifully makes the claim that heterosexuals are human too!”
—Eileen Myles, on Manhatten

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