In the Spotlight

Sarah Gorham

Sarah Gorham

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Member Since: 1985

About: Sarah Gorham is a poet, essayist, and publisher. She founded Sarabande Books in 1994 and serves as the press’s president and editor-and-chief. The author of four poetry collections, including Bad Daughter and The Cure, she has received grants and fellowships from Yaddo, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the MacDowell Colony, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, as well as the Gertrude Claytor Prize from the Poetry Society of America.

Is there a manuscript published in the last ten years that you wish had come across your desk?
A person can dream, right? The Great House, by Nicole Krauss; Visitation, by Jenny Erpenbeck; Nox, by Anne Carson; By the Numbers, by James Richardson, Leaving the Atocha Station, by Ben Lerner; Bluets, by Maggie Nelson. It would have been fun to have published Tinkers and sell heaps of copies. But I’m very glad Belleview Literary Press published it.

Is there a particular writer with whom you dream of working?
Authors of the above books, plus Ann Pachett, Albert Goldbarth (essays especially), Heather McHugh, and Mary Ruefle, among many others. But I’m very happy with the authors I’m presently working with.

What are your favorite literary magazines?
Paris Review, Diagram, A Public Space, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Tin House

Who are your favorite literary publishers?
The independents: Wave, Archipelago, City Lights, Cinco Puntos, Four Way, BOA, Graywolf, Copper Canyon.

What do you like in a story, whether fiction or nonfiction? 
Wisdom, innovation, beautiful language, sadness. Kind of what W.G. Sebald has to offer.

Which book do you wish had never been published?
Harry Potter

What are you reading right now?
The Lover by Marguerite Duras; Pulp Head by John Jeremiah Johnson; On Longing by Susan Stewart. I’m also looking forward to Allison Bechdel’s new book. And I’m always reading lots of manuscripts.

And what are you working on?
I have a collection of essays circulating called Study in Perfect. And I’m working on another book-length essay, which will probably take me ten years or more to finish.