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Manguso, Sarah 1974-

Manguso, Sarah 1974-


Born 1974, in MA. Education: Harvard University, graduated; Iowa Writers' Workshop, University of Iowa, graduated.


Home—Brooklyn, NY. Agent—Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger, Inc., 300 W. 55th St., Ste. 11V, New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected]


New School University, New York, NY, former instructor in graduate writing program; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, instructor. Has been a visiting writer at several U.S. colleges and universities.


Pushcart Prize; fellowships at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo; Hodder Fellowship, Princeton University; Book of the Year, Village Voice, for The Captain Lands in Paradise: Poems.


The Captain Lands in Paradise: Poems, Alice James Books (Farmington, ME), 2002.

(Editor, with Jordan Davis) Free Radicals: American Poets before Their First Books, Subpress (Honolulu, HI), 2004.

Siste Viator (poems), Four Way Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to three editions of Best American Poetry. Contributor of poems and prose to periodicals, including American Poetry Review, Believer, Boston Review, London Review of Books, McSweeney's, New Republic, and the Paris Review.


Sarah Manguso is an American poet with a "startling, disturbing, and original voice," according to Carl Phillips in the American Poetry Review. Manguso's first collection, The Captain Lands in Paradise: Poems, begins with a quote from the log of explorer Christopher Columbus. That, and the title, indicated to Electronic Poetry Review critic Charlotte Mandel that the thematic concerns of this debut collection deal with "exploration, motion and discovery." Such a theme was apposite, Mandel thought, for "a poet … well-equipped to embark on a voyage where a rationalist pilot-consciousness takes direction from a willingly surreal imagination." Manguso describes some of the verse in the collection as "essays" or "narratives." Thus, for example, "Address to Winnie in Paris" is in the form of a letter to a friend encouraging her to begin a romance. Other notable poems in the collection are "American Reverie" and "Social Theory." Mandel felt that each piece "is galvanized by a powerful image," and that the entire collection demonstrates that Manguso is "a poet worthy of our attention, capable of the language of motion which stirs thought and feeling together." Similar praise came from a Publishers Weekly critic, who thought the poet "accomplishes a great deal" with this first publication.

The poems in Manguso's second poetry collection, Siste Viator, "crackle with wicked fire," according to Paul Guest in Diagram. The title of the book is the Latin phrase "traveler, halt," which was used as the usual opening for inscriptions on Roman gravestones. Indeed, in this second collection, Manguso's poems are intended to take on the gravity of epitaphs, and her writing becomes more epigrammatic and aphoristic. Guest praised such poems as "Kitty in the Snow" and "Asking for More," noting that "there is mortal gravity here but also a kind of cheeky weirdness." Guest concluded: "Manguso's best poems see with a kind of double vision, of which seemingly effortless poetry can be made."



American Poetry Review, May, 2002, Carl Phillips, review of The Captain Lands in Paradise: Poems, p. 45.

Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2001, review of The Captain Lands in Paradise, p. 65.


Diagram, (October 25, 2006), Paul Guest, review of Siste Viator.

Electronic Poetry Review, (October 25, 2006), Charlotte Mandel, review of The Captain Lands in Paradise.

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