Sarah Pemberton Strong is the author of two novels, Burning the Sea and The Fainting Room. Her poems have appeared in Mississippi Review, RATTLE, The Southern Review, Southwest Review, and other journals. A poetry editor for New Haven Review, she lives near New Haven, Connecticut, with her spouse and daughter. Licensed as a master plumber, she is also a one-person plumbing company. (Author photo by Khem Spearman) www.sarahpembertonstrong.com
In her first volume of poetry, novelist Sarah Strong celebrates silence and what can be learned when we wait and listen. In this stillness, she shows us, we may hear answers to questions we have learned not to ask. Exploring how our subtlest gestures speak our most passionate concerns, she maps the intricacies of body—the fingers of a hand, the work of breathing—with the same dexterity she investigates what inspires a mother to demolish a kitchen wall or a lover to change genders. Strong also examines spiritual experience—in Buddhist practice, in re-imagined biblical narratives, and in the details of daily life. Formally alert and often funny, Tour of the Breath Gallery relies on the music of everyday speech as it charts the interplay of the domestic and the sublime with a wise and generous grace.
"Sarah Strong's voice in her debut collection is quiet, but the stakes in her sharply etched and crafted poems are high: language that summons us to compassion, responsibility, gratitude for being alive. Strong's lyricism reminds us of our interconnectedness, the common denominators that marry 'self' to 'other,' 'I' to 'we,' human to the web of biological, emotional, historical and spiritual relationship in which we love, struggle, sing."
Texas Tech University Press