Sam Sax


Sam Sax is a queer, jewish, poet & educator. They're the author of Bury It (winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American poets) and Madness (winner of the National Poetry Series). They're the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion with poems published in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Granta, Buzzfeed and elsewhere. They've received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and Lambda Literary. Currently living in Oakland California, and working at a used bookstore, they'll be a lecturer at Stanford University this Fall. Source

Everyone’s an Expert at Something

The more i learn the more i learn

i don’t know what the [     ] i’m talking

about. To someone who doesn’t care

a fig for poetry they’d likely think

i knew a lot, yet in most bookshops

i’m lost, shelves heavy with the bodies

of forgotten writers. It’s relative.

a president can say audacity or

a president can say sad & both eat

the cured meat of empire. When i say

i carry my people inside me i don’t

mean a country. The star that hangs

from my neck is simply a way

of saying israel is not a physical place

but can be carried anywhere. It says

my people are most beautiful when

moving when movement, when

our only state is the liquid state of water,

is adapting to our container. Homeland

sometimes just means what books

you’ve read, what stories you’ve spread

with your sneakers. My people,

any place you live long enough

to build bombs is a place you’ve lived

too long–it’s relative. My friends,

the only thing I know for sure is

the missiles on television are only beautiful 

if you’ve never known suffering.

My friends the only country i will

ever pledge my allegiance to

is your music, is under investigation

for treason.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Intersectionality & Culture

Poems of Place

Violence & War

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


The repetition of a word within a phrase, in which the second use of the word utilizes a different and sometimes contrary meaning from the first.

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.


The use of multiple words with the same root in different forms.

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.


a word, object, action, character, or concept that embodies and evokes a range of additional meaning and significance.