sam sax’s poems continually remind the reader of the implications of living in a body; they speak of desire, sexuality and gender, eros and its manifold delights and dangers, grief, addiction, and the creative power and potential instability of the mind. The poems are formally various: alternately conversational and fragmented, built sometimes of short, radically broken lines, sometimes of prose paragraphs, and sometimes of imported forms such as stage directions for a dramatic script. The result is a kind of jitteriness: a constant moving about through the experience of being human, as if to exist at all is to be in constant motion, the mind and voice attempting to catch up with, and make sense of, the experience of the body. The poems often explore, in particular, queer identity and the history and culture of the Jewish people.
sam sax is the author of two collections of poetry: Madness (2017), winner of the National Poetry Series, and bury it (2018), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and the MacDowell Colony, and—evidence of his engaging performance style—is a two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion. In 2018 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and he is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
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