Publisher: Noemi Press, 2013
Micro Review of Sarah Vap’s End of the Sentimental Journey
Looking to challenge your relationship to the poem and your
relationship as reader is End of the Sentimental Journey by Sarah Vap. Hers is
a book that talks back. Through her attitude and witticism, she explores the
relationship between reader and author. If you have ever wondered what an
author would think about you as you are reading their book, Sarah does not
hold back. She questions notions of authorship and one’s perspective as a
reader. She says, “There is an unspoken agreement between a poet and a
reader that, by reading the poem, we will both feel less alone.”After reading
this book, you might change the way you think about writing, you might find
that her guidelines apply to you. Sarah Vap would not want you to ask if this
is book is difficult or not instead she guides you through a conversation with
her and if you really get into it she invites you to get into the personal
saying, “Specifically, this is a conversation about you having sex with me.
And more generally, about poets having sex with each other(11).” She says
about her own poetry, “My poem should put out, nut not be a slut”
For a small book, it really does put out and speak.
Somatic review of Sarah Vap’s End of the Sentimental Journey
If you want a book to talk back, pick up End of the Sentimental Journey
by Sarah Vap. This is not the book for tea. This is not the book for quiet
library corners. This is not going to end well if you are sitting next to your
mom. This book should be read alone because the book will demand loud
conversations with you. Be prepared. Most books you’ve read don’t care who
you are, but Sarah Vap writes through the book to talk back.
She says, “Specifically, this is a conversation about you having sex
with me. And more generally, about poets having sex with each other” (11).
Are you interested? Have you ever wanted to take a poet to bed? Here is
your chance. She invites you to drag it under the covers. She wants to get
you excited. If you are not ready for this, you can close the book but I would
not open it up again.
Once you think you have become acquainted with Sarah Vap, maybe
you have not. Maybe she does not like you and never will like you. That
depends on what type of reader you are. If you read to be anonymous, this
book is not for you and you can return it to where ever you got it from. This
book is for people who like cussing. Do not ask yourself if these poems are
difficult, if you can even call them poems, she would not like that. Easy is
problematic as well, just keep reading. She wants to get to know you. You are
reading into her. She knows,” there is an unspoken agreement between a
poet and a reader that, by reading the poem, we will both feel less alone”
(13). This is the book for you if you want to feel less alone or if you want to
have a conversation with the author mid sentence. To truly enjoy her wit and
cynicism, this book is best read in an empty room where you have the
freedom to yell at Sarah Vap for making you feel unworthy while the book is
yelling back at you.
Sarah Vap grew up in Missoula, Montana. She attended Brown University, where she studied English and American Literature. She received her MFA from Arizona State University, and is completing her PhD at the University of Southern California.
Vap is the author of four collections of poetry. Her first book, Dummy Fire, was selected by Forrest Gander to receive the Saturnalia Poetry Prize. Her second, American Spikenard, was selected by Ira Sadoff to receive the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her third book, Faulkner’s Rosary, was released by Saturnalia Books in 2010. Her fourth book, Arco Iris, was just released in November, 2012, and was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2012. Her book End of the Sentimental Journey is forthcoming from Noemi Press in 2013. She is a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship for Poetry.
Vap has taught poetry and literature at Arizona State University and University of Southern California, and for many years now she has taught creative writing to kids in public schools.
Reviewer: Janelle Fine is a second year MFA student at Naropa University and the Art Editor for Bombay Gin Literary Magazine.