Sara London

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Specialization
Creative writing (poetry, fiction and nonfiction); 20th and 21st century American literature

Sara London is the author of The Tyranny of Milk (Four Way Books, NY). Her poems have appeared in such venues as The Hudson Review, Poetry East, The Iowa Review, the Poetry Daily anthology, AGNI  Online, and elsewhere. Her short fiction has been published in The Iowa Review; she is currently at work on a novel. London is also the author of two children’s books (HarperCollins; Scholastic). Before teaching at MHC, she taught creative writing and literature at Smith College, and fiction writing at Amherst College.

Among the courses London teaches at MHC are Verse Writing I and Verse Writing II (ENGL 204 and 304); Short Story Writing I (ENGL 203); Introduction to the Study of Literature (ENGL 200), and Seminar in Reading, Writing and Reasoning (ENGL 101).

Born in San Francisco, London grew up in California and in Burlington,Vermont, and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as an editor in New York, as a journalist on Cape Cod, and regularly reviews children’s books for The New York Times Book Review. Her children’s book Firehorse Max was a selection of the Vermont National Education Association and was cited as Recommended Reading by the Missouri State Teachers Association. In recent years she has served as a contest reader for the Beatrice Hawley Award for Poetry at Alice James Books; and as a juror for the Ohio State Arts Council in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

About The Tyranny of Milk, Terrance Hayes has written: “[London’s] poems go beyond nostalgia to reveal how ‘memory wants more than it can keep.’ They discard conceptual gimmicks and empty word play in the name of clear-eyed utterance. This debut achieves a clarity that is transcendent and humanizing and unforgettable.”

Excerpts from other reviews of The Tyranny of Milk:

“The powerhouse poem ‘Cold War’ . . . functions like a light switch, illuminating several of the book’s recurring concerns: parental influence and its aftereffects, the shifting shapes and functions of love and marriage, our bottomless longings and mysterious sets of sorrows. “
        —Kirsten Andersen, Provincetown Arts

A “real achievement of vision and voice…[W]hat I really admire about these poems [is] the bait-and-switch game they play with confessional conventions, and the way that game replaces the prurient interest in intimate revelations with the purposeful satisfactions of linguistic and prosodic play.  To put it another way: while these poems might seem to be about the plight of a bed-wetter, say, or the sting of a mother’s tongue, or the tensions within a marriage, they are more properly seen as about how these things are filtered through, or, better, constructed in language.  The vision is the voice, and these poems press the point that we see as we speak.”
   —Michael Thurston, The Poetry Pill (thepoetrypill.blogspot.com)

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