Sarah M. Sala

Sarah M. Sala is a queer poet and educator of Polish-Lebanese descent. Born in rural Michigan, she wrote her first poem in second grade as part of an exquisite corpse exercise. Sala earned a BA from the University of Michigan, where the New England Literature Program stoked her obsession with language. She then attended the MFA in Writing program at New York University, working with poets including Sharon Olds, Meghan O’Rourke, Yusef Komunyakaa, Matthew Rohrer, and Charles Simic.

In 2020, Sala published her debut poetry full-length, Devil’s Lake (Tolsun Books). Devil’s Lake was named a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry, the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Poetry Award, and the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur Award, as well as being selected as a longlistee for the International Poetry Book Awards and a 2021 PSV North American Poetry Book Award Semifinalist. Sala is also the author of the chapbook The Ghost Assembly Line (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her poem “Hydrogen” was featured in the “Elements” episode of NPR's hit show Radiolab in collaboration with Emotive Fruition.

Sala is the founding director of Office Hours Poetry Workshop, a free community-based writing workshop for post-MFA poets. She also serves as Poetry Editor at the Bellevue Literary Review and was founding editor at The Oleander Review, International Editor for Washington Square Review, a manuscript screener for Alice James Books, and a poetry reader for Epiphany Magazine. Her awards and honors include the 2019 Lorene Pouncey Award, an Academy of American Poets University & College Prize, the Marjorie Rapport Award for Poetry, an Avery Hopwood Award for Nonfiction, and a Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship. Sala was chosen as a 2019 Poets House Fellow and a 2016 and 2018 Home School Fellow.

Sala’s work appears in BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Southampton Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature, among other publications. She has worked as a collegiate crew coach, a childhood obesity researcher, a zombie in a haunted house, an hourly employee in fast food, and a showroom manager in the textile industry. Currently a clinical assistant professor in the Expository Writing Program at NYU, Sala has called New York City home for the past 13 years.


More Sarah M. Sala

Text/Audio: Sala reads her poem "Blue Dog Blue Dog" and shares thoughts in an interview with Brooklyn Poets

Text: Sala's poem "Blake" at Los Angeles Review

Video: Sala reads with fellow NYU MFA alumni Jameson Fitzpatrick, Raven Leilani, and Maura Roosevelt


Photo by Matthew Thompson.