University of Akron Press to Publish The Deletions by Sarah Green as 2023 Akron Poetry Prize Editor’s Choice


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The University of Akron Press is excited to announce that it will publish Sarah Green’s poetry collection The Deletions as the 2023 Akron Poetry Prize editor’s choice. The Deletions was also selected as runner-up by contest judge Sandra Beasley.

Of The Deletions, Beasley states:

How do we build beauty around absence; or, perhaps even more eerie, how do we scaffold presence around the act of disappearing? This poet uses masterful storytelling, personal revelation, and shapely, musical stanzas to unpack the lonely spaces of contemporary life. A straightforward litany of The Deletions’ themes—elegy, divorce, infertility, climate change—pales beside the realized ache of the individual moment, shot through with wry and exacting wit: “I think he thinks I’m sedated but I am just / awake saying hi to everyone like usual except / there’s iodine on my torso / there’s lidocaine in my feelings.” These poems gather a lifetime of loss into their arms, crush the reader into that messy embrace, and defiantly holler towards hope.

Sarah Green is the author of Earth Science (421 Atlanta, 2016) and the editor of Welcome to the Neighborhood: An Anthology of American Coexistence (Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, 2019). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, FIELD, 32 Poems, Gettysburg Review, Pleiades, Copper Nickel, Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize.

Regarding The Deletions, Green says, “My first intention in writing this book was to make a kind of ‘divorce record,’ following in the footsteps of songwriters I admire. But the manuscript soon filled with poems about broader forms of love than the heteroromantic kind— friend love, mother love, queer love, love for the earth and the divine— and the inevitable losses there. But too, in this catalog of deletions: these poems mark what stayed.” 

Information on the annual Akron Poetry Prize competition can be found here.