OU Student Finds Creative Expression Through Poetry, Song

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Sarah Green has an artistic energy that inspires her to write both for the page and the stage.

The Ohio University doctoral student in English is a nationally award-winning poet and songwriter.

“My music influences my poetry by giving my poems an awareness of rhythm, tone, and the sounds of language,” Green said, “while my poetry influences my music by developing my attention to images and metaphors.”

Green and fellow musician Andy Cambria formed the duo Heartacre in Massachusetts. She received a grant from the Iguana Music Fund at Club Passim that allowed her to record their first album, Climb. The album was released as a digital project available at

While Green can be heard singing and playing her original compositions at coffee houses around Athens, she came to Ohio University to continue to hone her poetry craft and teach.

Her creative writing has garnered her national acclaim over the last few years. In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses for her poem “Chances Are, Lafayette, Indiana,” published in the Gettysburg Review.

In 2011, the Oberlin College Letterpress Project published Temporary Housing, a chapbook of her poems.

Last year, poet and editor Matthew Dickman included her piece “What to expect when you become a motel balcony” in Best New Poets 2012: 50 Poems from Emerging Writers. She was one of 50 poets chosen for inclusion in the annual anthology.

Themes of love, luck, and travel infuse Green’s writing. She strives to write poems and songs that are accessible to a general audience.

“It’s hard to know why one creative impulse leads to a poem and one to a song, but it seems like I will be more inclined to write a song when I want to tell a story or develop a theme or realization, and a poem when I want to sit with a mystery and be open to surprise,” Green explained.

As Green continues to write with an eye towards publication of additional chapbooks and recordings, she’s also discovered a love of teaching.

She’s taught poetry workshops for a variety of audiences, from fellow artists to teenage girls in rehab. Her goal is to continue to inspire students while pursuing her own creative work.

This story appears in the special graduate student edition of Ohio University’s Perspectives magazine, published in spring 2013.