Poems by
Sarah Manguso

The Deer Comes Down the Mountain

This Might Be Real



Sarah Manguso’s poems are quixotic exercises of question and aphorism, performed in a voice that Carl Phillips has called “startling, disturbing, and original.” Like the deer tracks that dash through her work, the imprints of Manguso’s words are deep and constantly changing with the ice and thaw of the poet’s interior landscape.

In her most recent book, Siste Viator (Four Way Books, 2006), she borrows and re-imagines fragments of Frank O’Hara, John Berryman, and a wandering Zen koan. Apt to strike with an alarming bodily urgency, the poems also manage to displace the reader in a dreamscape, another country, or a mathematical plane. Mark Levine has called her poems “a dance through the layers of the disparate.”

A native of Massachusetts, Manguso earned degrees from Harvard and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. The Village Voice named her first volume, The Captain Lands in Paradise (Alice James Books), among its 25 favorite books of 2002, noting, “Over the whole fantastic, funny, ever-shifting landscape hangs the head of Wallace Stevens, aureoled like the baby deity of the Teletubbies, cooing ambiguous approval.” Such praise reflects Manguso’s whimsical charm; on the other end of the spectrum is a skeptical intellectual, deeply wanting to believe.

Manguso has held Princeton’s Hodder Fellowship, received a Pushcart Prize, and appeared three times in the Best American Poetry series. With Jordan Davis, she edited the anthology Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books. Manguso currently lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Pratt Institute. A collection of very short stories is forthcoming, and she is at work on a nonfiction book about decay.




Poetry Center Reading:

      Spring 2007 (with Kevin Prufer)