'Cry Back My Sea' by Alumna Sarah Arvio '83 out in August

Nicole Saldarriaga
July 28, 2021

Cry Back My Sea (Knopf), a new collection of poetry by alumna and former faculty member, Sarah Arvio '83, is now available for pre-order and will be released on August 10, 2021.

The collection focuses on the experiences of obsession, love, loss and loss of self. "I thought I had left behind the darkness / of the heart," Arvio shares in "Small War," but the intimate, often funny poems in Cry Back My Sea make it clear that love can be unexpected, upending even the best laid plans and intentions. 

According to the publisher, Arvio "seems to be writing these poems to save herself from a devastating passion. Her weapons are a cascade of brash, freely spoken lines and a powerful command of metaphor, wielded in a search for meaning and understanding."

Poet Mark Strand, who was the Poet Laureate in 1990, called the opening sequence of Cry Back My Sea "magnificent." The sequence includes "Wood"—a poem that was published in The New Yorker and anthologized in the Broadview Introduction to Literature—as well as "Bodhisattva," which was published in The Best American Poetry 2015 and the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day. 

book cover

Sarah Arvio’s Poet in Spain: New Translations of the poetry of Federico García Lorca, garnered wide acclaim. Her previous book, night thoughts: 70 dream poems & notes from an analysis, is a hybrid work: poetry, essay and memoir. Earlier books of poems are Visits from the Seventh and Sono: Cantos. Arvio has won the Rome Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Bogliasco foundations and National Endowment for the Arts. For many years, she was a translator for the United Nations in New York and Geneva; she has also taught at Princeton and the Columbia University School of the Arts. A longtime New Yorker, she has resided in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Mexico City and Caracas.