Poetry. Sarah Messer's BANDIT LETTERS are an archive of rebellion: against coherence and for multiplicity. Her cast of elusive outlaws, who encounter the borders and borderlands of experience and identity, appear, reappear, and disappear in landscapes that conjure the Wild West, Colonial New England, and a pop-culture-strewn American present tense. Out of the rubble of this new old world, Messer builds a time-traveling and willfully anachronistic poetry that challenges our commonplace notions of history, gender, and power. At the heart of these poems lies an exploration of what is lost when bodies become language and, just as importantly, what is gained when words touch flesh.
Author City: ANN ARBOR, MI USA
Sarah Messer has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Michigan Council for the Arts and others. She is the author of four books—two poetry collections, BANDIT LETTERS (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2002), DRESS MADE OF MICE (Black Lawrence, 2015), a history/memoir Red House (Viking, 2004), and a book of translations, Having Once Paused, Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu (University of Michigan Press, 2015). In 2008-2009, she was a Poetry Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. For many years she taught in the MFA program at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Currently she runs One Pause Poetry in Ann Arbor, Michigan and works at White Lotus Farms.