Sarah Carson


Sarah Carson is the author of the poetry collections Buick City (Mayapple Press, 2015), Poems in Which You Die (BatCat Press), and How to Baptize a Child in Flint, Michigan (2022), winner of the 2021 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books. Her work has appeared in The Slowdown, Guernica, Prairie Schooner, Copper Nickel, and New Ohio Review, among other outlets. She has received grants and prizes from Tin House, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and she was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Michigan with her daughter and two dogs. Source

If God Asks, Tell Her I Give This Place Three Stars

No more and no fewer.


Yes, the vistas were majestic.


Yes, the smoked salmon omelets were–I’ll say it–divine.


I don’t think I’m alone, however, when I say there were never

enough Saturdays, and there were always too many options for

choosing how to spend them–cliff diving or window shopping,

getting the oil changed or self-destructing in front of a stranger.


And while some of the neighbors contributed in kind to courtyard

barbecues, others were [     ], and you never knew which you

were getting until you’d already paid the first and last month’s rent.


I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time, I’m just saying I’m not 

sure I should have. It was all too much, and it was never enough,

and I can’t help but feel as if I’ve forgotten more than I could ever



The woman who is being paid to swab my grandmother’s dry lips

sings the psalter like a seraph, and it should be me there with the

wet Q-tip, but I have to be elsewhere if I want to have the means to

afford a person to also swab my own chapped lips when it’s time.


It is the wildest, weirdest, most heartbreaking planet I’ve ever been.

I swear I just got here, but it feels like I’ve been here forever.


I don’t want to leave, & I absolutely, positively never want to ever 

come back.






Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Poems of the Everyday

Literary Devices:


a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else


a rhetorical relative of irony wherein one brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

Template Poem

a poem in which a poet uses a predetermined form to structure the poem. For example: a multiple-choice format, a recipe, directions, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Miranda Rights. A template poem borrows an already established form to provide structure and commentary.