Sarah Sousa

Sarah Sousa (Non-Fiction, Poetry) | Amherst, MA

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Sarah Sousa is the founding editor of the mini lit mag Queen of Cups. She the author of two poetry collections: Split the Crow (Parlor Press) and Church of Needles, which won the 2013 Red Mountain Prize from Red Mountain Press and the editor/transcriber of The Diary of Esther Small, 1886 (Small Batch Books) which won the New England Book Festival Award for Regional Literature. Her poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Fugue, Tupelo Quarterly, Fourteen Hills and Tuesday; An Art Project, among others. She is the recipient of honors from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Review, the Poetry Foundation and both the New York and New England Book Festivals. Her third collection will be published in 2018 by CavanKerry Press.


Split the Crow (Parlor Press 2015). Poetry.
Church of Needles (Red Mountain Press 2014). Poetry.
The Diary of Esther Small (Small Batch Books 2014). Historical transcription. Non-Fiction.

Press & Reviews

“Something magical happens in these pages-we are waked from forgetfulness and are pulled into a living history that revives us and spares us nothing. The reader demands: ‘we want /what is real, don’t deny us’ and Sousa does not disappoint. In exploring the narrative of Mary Rowlandson, Split the Crow employs lyric to stop time, draw it close, and inspect it on its own terms without being either pedantic or patronizing. Sousa bares essential truths of our young country; we have struggled all along defining ourselves by othering. In spite of this, Split the Crow shows all that is human is transitive. I had been dying to read this book until I read it; I did not know what I lacked until I was sated.”
—TJ Jarrett

Split the Crow is rife with surprise, rich with inventive images from the natural world, and delicious with music. Weaving through centuries of Native American material culture, Sousa walks no straight lines. From ‘Her Moods Caused Owls’: “Once there was a girl who spoke / garlands’ and (four lines later) ‘her fear caused gardens.’ This brilliant, idiosyncratic book rides the wave of language and consciousness rather than narrative, to breathtaking effect. And this poet is not just smart, she’s wise.”
—Ellen Dore Watson

“The poems of Sarah Sousa’s Split the Crow employ archaeology as a means of giving voice not only to the land, but to long-gone peoples. We discover the objects that individuals were equipped with for their final journeys, as well as witnessing their tales. Sousa’s work picks up where conventional history has left off, giving voice to urgent testimonies. ‘The Lost People,’ states, ‘On the train coming east, / not knowing what else to do, boys sang / the death songs our warriors sang riding into battle,’ just one of many instances where Native American accounts find a ready home in Sousa’s poetry. Split the Crow is a collection of tremendous magnitude that calls upon the past as a way to reconsider our present moment.”
—Mary Biddinger

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