Sit Down Traveler
Sarah C. Harwell
The telephone psychic with her tarot deck fanned out before her: so does Harwell embrace the poet’s dual role of seeker and oracle. As the vagaries of existence turn the mundane uncanny and back again, the poet craves insight but is suspicious of its sources. Accidental death, love’s slow-motion estrangement, the astonishments of parenthood—boredom, grief, and joy alike are voracious and unsparing. Harwell’s language is often blunt, often playfully oblique, as she looks askance at metaphors and studies how we star, fade, and reappear in our own stories.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, and raised in many other places, Sarah C. Harwell has worked as a waitress, librarian, telephone psychic, astrologer, tarot reader, New Age book buyer, and natural language programmer. She holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MLS and MFA from Syracuse University. She is the Associate Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her daughter, Hannah, and their cat, Joseph.
Christopher Kennedy is the author of Ennui Prophet (BOA Editions, Ltd.), Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death (BOA Editions, Ltd.), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award in 2007, Trouble with the Machine (Low Fidelity Press), and Nietzsche’s Horse (Mitki/Mitki Press). His work has appeared in many print and online journals and magazines, including New York Tyrant, Ninth Letter, 5-Trope, The Threepenny Review, Slope, Mississippi Review, Ploughshares, and McSweeney’s. In 2011 he was awarded an NEA Fellowship for Poetry. A founding editor of the literary journal 3rd Bed, he is an associate professor of English at Syracuse University, where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.