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


i never wanted to grow up to be anything horrible

as a man.  my biggest fear  was the hair  they said

would    snake    from  my   chest,   swamp    trees

breathing  as  i  ran.  i prayed for a  different  kind

of  puberty:  skin  transforming  into  floor boards

muscles  into  cobwebs, growing  pains  sounding

like an  attic  groaning  under  the  weight  of  old

photo  albums.  as a  kid  i  knew  that  there  was

a car burning above water before this life,  i woke

here  to  find  fire   scorched   my  hair  clean  off

until i shined like glass—my eyes,  two acetylene

headlamps. in my family we have a story for this:

my brother holding me in his hairless arms.  says


dad it will be a monster            we should bury it





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Body & Body Image

Childhood & Coming of Age

Literary Devices:


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


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