Sarah-Jane Crowson

Ghazal: Paper

The old astronomer puts out the light
and stars shine out like pinholes in worn paper.

Creating worlds in miniature (small gods)
red wasps weave minarets of reborn paper.

It's Valentines! I buy a gilded heart
that smells of stale vanilla—lovelorn paper.

Shh…velvet drapes sweep open to reveal
faint silhouettes of castles drawn on paper.

Martha stores her loneliness in jars.
She snips and folds small creatures from torn paper.

Each shelf is stuffed with wondrous gifts but what
to get? A unicorn? A shoehorn? paper?

The archivists turn on their screens and sigh.
They miss the feel of index cards, mourn paper.

Your words are candy floss dissolved in rain.
How adeptly you court and fawn—on paper.

The crows catch currents, glide. I watch one fall—
all magic's lost, it's only airborne paper.

Solstice: waiting for the Midnight Theatricals

Corvids fly the shadowy treeline, leaving
rakish trails of wingbeats & tattered squalling.
It's as if they airbrush this skyscape cobalt,
fading in starlight.

Green-gold spears of rosemary scent the blue air
crush of insects. I watch the pointed silver
stars of woodruff threading through verges, silver
stitches on velvet.

Apple trees with mistletoe clasped round branches.
Alder trees with cobwebs across their heart roots,
braceleting an underworld—soil & water—
echoes of journeys.

Mouse bones
Bones of creatures dance in the hedgerow, chorus
lace-like stories, tell me of blood & honey,
salt & amber, whisper of slant-lit August
infinite evenings.


Sarah-Jane’s art and poetry is inspired by fairytales, nature and her personal emotional landscape. It is informed by ideas of accidental trespass, surrealism and romanticism. Her collages transform images and artefacts from historical popular culture into surreal, theatrical dreamscapes. She works with a mixture of analogue and digital collage techniques and hopes to create small enigmatic treasures that people might find beautiful.Sarah-Jane's images and text can be seen in various UK and US journals, including The Adroit Journal, Rattle, Waxwing Literary Journal, Petrichor, Sugar House Review and Iron Horse Literary Review. She was shortlisted for the Haiku Foundation ‘Touchstone’ award in 2020 and for the Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Award in 2015. You can find her on Twitter @Sarahjfc, Instagram @Sarah_jfc or on her website at .


Jane Blanchard
Barbara Lydecker Crane
Mary Cresswell
Barbara Crooker
Sarah-Jane Crowson
Claudia Gary
Julia Griffin
Mia Schilling Grogan
Kathryn Jacobs
Jen Karetnick
Jean L. Kreiling
Jenna Le
Kathleen McClung
Diane Lee Moomey
Leslie Schultz
Natalie Staples
Kathrine Varnes
Joyce Wilson
Marly Youmans


The latest addition to the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Database is Rachel Wetzsteon by Patricia Behrens. The Poetry by the Sea Conference is scheduled next year from May 21-24.

Maureen Alsop:I often create visual art as a memorialization to the closure of a written work. However, many of these visual pieces arrived as a trajectory while writing a larger 'work-in-progress.' The text within the visual poems do not speak to the content of the larger work but are autonomous, acting as bridge between the written and visual bodies. The original text draws upon ghosts in the hall of battles. It is a glittering solar analemma, an unattested revolution, an infinity reflected in ellipses, omissions, and disintegration. A full collection representing many of these images came to fruition recently in Tender to Empress (Wet Cement Press). Yet the act of creating from text continues, as the digital collages here also include newer works based on miscellaneous notes, old emails, and most recently a short story, "The Unnamed Woman of Mary River" (forthcoming at South Dakota Review). The title to these are based on cargo ships which I pass on my daily commute from island to mainland. These small cities of people, afloat for weeks on end out at sea, are a looming story that embarks and disembarks in my imagination.

The visual poems are crafted under the mechanics of "Écriture Féminine," literally "women's writing." These principals advance a feminine perspective. I write from parallels, cyclical slips through stream of conscious and fragmentary processes. The writing exists as rough erotic. As talisman. Interpersonal in their ruptures and syntax, soft in their discomforts; a splintered narrative. Through writing, I can go anywhere and never be found.

32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers