I’m so happy to announce the May 6, 2016 release of my first poetry collection, The Heart Contracts, by Finishing Line Press, an award-winning small press out of Georgetown, Kentucky. Please pre-order if interested (the higher the number of pre-orders, the larger the press run and the larger the number of copies I receive to have available at readings and to distribute locally.) Orders can be made directly at flpbookstore@aol.com.

Three terrific poets, all of whom I greatly respect, were kind enough to provide blurbs for the book. Having this opportunity to be in touch with each of them again regarding this milestone in my life meant a lot to me, as did their prompt and generous responses to my request.

From David Kirby, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University and author of more than two dozen volumes of criticism, essays, children’s literature, pedagogy, and poetry, including The House on Boulevard Street: New and Selected Poems (2007), a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Florida Book Award and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award:

“Every one of Sarah Carey’s poems is taut, tense, terse, tough. And close to tiny: most are within a line or two of half a page. In that sense, they’re like those little candles some people put around their houses, lighting up everything that’s true and beautiful and sometimes scary about domestic life. Oh, and one more thing about these poems: they’re terrific.”

From Van K. Brock, author of several collections of poems, former professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program at Florida State University for several decades. He helped found The Southeast Review (then Sundog), International Quarterly and Anhinga Press, which he directed for 25 years:

“Each syllable of these heart contracts is a muted note, so that losses blend worlds alive in the author, as: It hit me hard when I heard / of the murder. (“No Visible Scars”) or I move it from its temporary resting place, / consoled to see the evening light reflect. (“The Gift”) and When I bought him / my fears disappeared, my sleep returned. (“Max”). These notes are multi-storied, like every home: Mother, my Hestia, my sacrifice / is for whatever you cultivate in me: / what I had to gut to get / to . . . (“My First Steps”). North Florida, Utah, Alaska—they could be anyplace. These poems deserve discerning readers to treasure them.”

From Lola Haskins:

“Here is poetry that doesn’t babble but waits until it knows exactly what it wants to say then, without waste, says it. Here too is a poet who knows how to order a collection so that it becomes a single, resonant, piece of music. We all enter into contracts with our hearts. Ms. Carey, by sharing hers with us, has given us a gift worth having.”

I am especially grateful to the editors and readers at those journals that have supported me by publishing my work. To all those of you who read my poems – I have a heart contract with you as well. Thank you for making this journey so worthwhile.