Award-Winning Poet to Come to Sonoma State

Written by: Megan Corcoran, Staff Writer, Sonoma State STAR

Sam Sax is all about “Poems on poems on poems.” A Poetry Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, Sax will be reading his work at Sonoma State University on Wednesday, Dec. 9. 

He is the special guest this month at SPOKE, a monthly event hosted by the HUB on campus for the Sonoma State community to share their poetry and listen to the work of others. 

Sax has made his name known in the national poetry community. He was a finalist for the Ruth Lily Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, which is one of largest awards offered to young poets in the United States between the ages of 21 and 31, and is intended to encourage young poets to continue the study and writing of poetry. 

Sax is also a 2015 NEA Creative Writing Fellow. The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that gives Americans the opportunity to pursue their creative talents in the arts. They aim to provide equal access to the arts in every community across America. 

As a Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, Sax is the Editor-in-Chief of The Bat City Review. The Bat City Review is an annual literary journal run by graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, where the Michener Center is located. 

The Review features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art. 

Sax is a two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion and the author of several chapbooks. A chapbook is a small, typically 40-page book with a collection of poetry that usually centers on a theme. 

 Sax’s chapbooks include “A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters”, “Sad Boy/Detective”, and “All The Rage”. “Sad Boy/Detective” was the 2014 Winner of the Black River Chapbook Prize from Black Lawrence Press. 

“Sad Boy/Detective” received large amounts of praise after winning the Black River Chapbook Prize. In the first excerpt, “Boy Detective gets his start”, Sax writes, “To break free of your mother into a world / so bright it’s impossible to understand. / When even language is a photocopy of someone else’s speaking mouth. / It didn’t make sense: slim key in a galaxy of holes. / No. / He had to figure it out.”

Sax’s poems have been featured in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, Boston Review, Indiana Review, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Poetry Magazine and other journals and websites. 

“I’ve read several of Sax’s poems and I’m really excited to hear him talk at the next SPOKE,” junior Taryn Wilmers said. “You can’t help but like his work, it’s so great.”

Sax will be at Sonoma State speaking at the HUB’s SPOKE event on Dec. 9. The event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will be located on the second floor of the Student Center.