Born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Sara Peters studied at Boston University and was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. Her work has been published in The Walrus and Poetry, among many other literary magazines and journals, and her first book, 1996, was met with critical acclaim. She currently lives in Toronto.
Yes! I read poetry constantly. The poem I remember best is “The Lady of Shalott” by Tennyson, mainly because I’d subject my poor friends and family to impromptu, fever-pitch recitations of it.
I started writing poetry when I was 5. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to think of myself as a poet — I’ve always felt squeamish about the word. I think of myself as “someone who writes poetry,” which is such an awkward phrase, I know.
I don’t believe that the expectations we put on poets should be any different from the expectations we put on human beings, in general. I think it’s a poet’s job to be kind, empathetic, and giving.
[“You'd Have to Pay Me Could You Pay Me Enough”] was the second last poem I wrote for my book. I was thinking about a nameless group of people being held hostage. I was also imagining a powerfully manipulative female leader.
I would choose Hopkins’ “Spring,” but I would only memorize the (perfect) first line. I am terrible at memorizing things so I always need to start small!