Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hello, it's me again, your friendly neighborhood bio statement

I  wasn't honest yesterday. There was a reason I was uncomfortable with bio statements. I had to submit one, and this one to the academy. I'm one of the speakers at the Wed., February 9, 2011 "Tendencies--Poetics and Practice" lecture series. 7 p.m.

Because the series is at the CUNY Grad. Center (5th Avenue and 34th Street); because the series is run by Tim Peterson, a Ph.D. candidate and good poet unusually well-versed in poetic theory; because participants in this series generally have doctorates, or exhibits at MOMA, or impressive grants and often adore theory, which I don't, I was on the defensive.

That's the truth--the emotional underpinning to my brief posting on biographical statements. I am not intimidated by academics, but in this case, it would look better if I were one, or at least that's my story. I'm who I am and that's the problem.
So here's what I sent Tim yesterday afternoon, and it's not a disgrace. Imagine the others, however, shiny as Achilles shield with degrees and job titles, and far more sober.
Sarah Sarai is a theory. She was raised to transcend gender, race, class, the body; failed. About her collection, The Future Is Happy (BlazeVOX [books]), Gerald Schwartz wrote, "the confrontation and interactions with an emotional life gives the author's poems a nervy, discomfiting vitality. Their very rawness and urgency bring these poems to a kind of transcendence." Poems in Threepenny Review, Parthenon West, Mississippi Review. Columbia Review, Pank, Eleven Eleven and many others; a chapbook forthcoming from Loose Gravel Press; a Pushcart nomination in poetry. Fiction in journals including South Dakota Review, Fairy Tale Review, Tampa Review, Storyglossia. She has an M.F.A. in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and while she's taught writing at Antioch/Seattle, Fordham, Pace, BMCC/CUNY—and St. Mathias High School, for girls, in Los Angeles, she makes her living outside the academy, copyediting in ad agencies. Her grants (Seattle and King County Arts Commission) and fellowship (National Endowment for the Humanities) date back to another millennium, as does her theology.

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