Études by Sarah Sutro



Onager Editions
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Sarah Sutro, Etudes
Cover painting by Sarah Sutro


Sarah Sutro is a poet and painter. A finalist for the Robert Frost Poetry Award and MA Artist Foundation Poetry Grant, she has been a Pollack Krasner Foundation Award recipient and a visiting writer/artist at the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Millay and Ossabaw Island Colonies. A faculty and visiting professor at several colleges and universities, including Emerson College, University of Massachusetts, Cornell University and Lesley University, she is also the author of COLORS: Passages through Art, Asia and Nature (Blue Asia Press 2010).


Études, her first poetry book, has just been published by Finishing Line Press. The San Francisco poet Edward Mycue writes of the poems as including “bold objects, strong colors, landscapes, patterns, noises felt as elemental, windy, hot experiences, readers’ leaps….”Kathleen Aguero, author of After That, comments, “With an artist’s eye and a poet’s voice, Sarah Sutro celebrates the ephemeral….this poet is always looking, catching the fleeting moments between one state and another.”


We have read Etudes and find the poems wonderful. Sutro is a poet seeing the world through a painter’s eye, with many references to colors filling the lines. Behind many poets we find the desire to be a visual artist. Poet Theodore Roethke, for example, worked on a series of drawings inspired by his friend the artist Morris Graves, which were never shown. In Sutro’s case we are fortunate to be able to see her paintings as well as read her poems.


Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]


SARAH SUTRO’S 17 poems in ETUDES (ISBN 978-1-944251-86-4) from www.finishinglinepress.com cover a cultural waterfront including tough strong boffo poems such as the 2-page “Cabbage”, “Raga”, “Sunlight” and “Twilight” that flow the way fish in the Oakland Art Museum koi pond do. Sutro can be both physical and abstract as she builds these pieces. Sutro has lived all over the world and now lives in Massachusetts. She teaches art and is a painter. The cover of ETUDES is her own artwork.

I got her book, ETUDES, and Hiram Larew’s UTMOST recently: they lift my spirits because here are new voices in recent years. Without bowing to any reigning panjandrums, styles, schools here are two who just kick the eagled out of their seven main heavens (nest) .

–Edward Mycue,15 hrs •

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]


Sarah Sutro’s newest poems are like pictures at an exhibition. One can stand in front of each poem and admire it like a painting or incorporate her dynamic use of form into the enjoyment of living. This is truly a feast for the eyes and the heart.

–Mark Schorr, Director Emeritus, Robert Frost Foundation


With an artist’s eye and a poet’s voice, Sarah Sutro celebrates the ephemeral. She writes of “light that/is also time,/ moving/restlessly/across the water” and later, in the same poem, of the “dirt road you/only find if you’re not looking.” Luckily for us, this poet is always looking, catching the fleeting moments between one state and another. Etudes is a meditation on the intersection between the spiritual and the material, teaching us that change is the only constancy.

–Kathleen Aguero, author of After That


Sarah Sutro writes: “Change happens anyway.” In Mountain “…a lilac has escaped.” Bold objects, strong colors, landscapes, pattern, noises felt as elemental, windy, hot experiences, readers’ leaps, wonky romps that don’t feel classically honed.

–Edward Mycue, poet

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]






by Sarah Sutro

$14.49, paper

Sarah Sutro’s poetry is published in numerous magazines and books, including Amsterdam Quarterly, Rockhurst Review, The Big Chili (Bangkok), the anthologies Bangkok Blondes; Improv; Unbearable Uncertainty; Bangkok, Boston, Brattleboro: Alien Pens on Familiar Places (chapbook); Die Brucke #9; and The Ithaca Women’s Anthology. Author of a book of essays, COLORS Passages through Art, Asia and Nature, Sutro has been a finalist for the Robert Frost Award, Mass. Artists Foundation Poetry Grant, NEA and had fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Millay Colony, Ossabaw Island Foundation, Arts Dulcinium in Montnegro, and the American Academy in Rome. She currently works as an editor, and writes for American Arts Quarterly, NYC. Her paintings can be seen at www.sarahsutro.com.

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]


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