Blueprints by Sarah Burke




Poetry by Sarah Burke.
Winner of the 2018 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize.ISBN: 978-1-930781-55-9
Binding: Tradepaper
Pub date: November, 2019


Poetry by Sarah Burke.
Winner of the 2018 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize.

Release date November, 2019

Advance praise for Blueprints:

Blueprints offers a map of some of the most intimate human relationships, charting the dark and light that coexists in the spaces between siblings, parents and children, lovers, and spouses. ‘Every sacrament has its shadow,’ the poet says, a statement that reverberates throughout a collection in which each poem connects beauty to its opposite. Often beginning with place, Burke transforms the natural and man-made worlds she evokes in her poems into dreamscapes that unlock their deeper implications. With chiselled music and a deft use of metaphor and memory, Sarah Burke’s Blueprints is a radiant debut—bearing moving witness to the inner life.”

Shara McCallum, author of Madwoman, winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in poetry.

“House as home, nest as dwelling, and egg as first home are a few of the ideas explored in Blueprints, this gorgeous first collection. ‘Someone lived here / stirring embers, releasing columns of smoke,’ one poem asserts, even as another poem mourns our ephemerality: ‘We leave no glyph / no trace.’ And those ‘unfinished blueprints’ we leave behind in a shoebox for safekeeping—the strangers who come after us ‘will never understand / what the pieces mean.’ It’s hard to know this. But these poems act as balm and guide, page after page revealing the subtle enclosures of love, the patterns of care, and the tender rituals we may enact to shape a well-constructed life.”

—Debra Marquart, author of Small Buried Things: Poems

Enjoy the opening poem from Blueprints:

Brief History of Blueprints

Our plans hatched like insects—
clustered rooms, constellations
of timber and nail. Our plans
blue as a drowned girl, blue
as bones in the fox’s den, peacock
feathers leaving trails in the dust.
Blue as midnight, blue as bruise,
our fathers unrolled them like old maps
of the sea —someday a widow’s walk
someday a staircase—
old maps of the sea
stiff with monsters, ice fields, broken
ribs of ships, the jewels they held

With thanks to The Cincinnati Review, in which the poem first appeared.

About the Author

Sarah Burke’s first collection of poems, Blueprints, won the 2018 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University and an MFA in creative writing and environment from Iowa State University, where she served as managing editor for Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment. Burke has taught creative writing to children experiencing refugee resettlement, teens experiencing homelessness, and older adults through Iowa State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Now living in Pittsburgh with her husband and daughter, she works as a professional writer and editor. She is also a member of Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic writing community.


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