Sundress Publications announces the release of Sarah Renee Beach’s Impact, the winner of the 2022 Sundress E-Chapbook Contest.
“There’s a violence in the vacancy, / in what the canvases could not show.”
Through her debut chapbook, Sarah Renee Beach explicates the grief, violence, and emptiness that fill the space of a traumatic loss. Impact navigates the devastation caused by a horrific bus accident, including the impersonal, unsympathetic process of legal questioning, and follows Beach coping with her complex feelings towards the driver and attempting to reckon with the death of her friends and fellow passengers. Beach exposes her difficult, nonlinear healing process through the careful utilization of different formal elements, from the epistolary style to erasure to frenetically scattered lines and stanzas. Each poem is a tremor, rippling out from the initial incident, revealing another reverberation of her journey in the aftermath. Ultimately, Impact serves as a tender eulogy to both her lost friends and to her life before loss.
Robyn Schiff, author of A Woman of Property, writes “Devastated redactions, grieving epistles, and harrowing definitions in an agonized dictionary painfully and patiently circle the tragedy at the heart of Impact. Sarah Renee Beach wrote this book because she absolutely had to. I don’t know if poetry helps anyone heal, but I do know it to be the best form for expressing the impact of unbearable loss. Every word here is an emergency.”
Originally from Southeast Texas, Sarah Renee Beach completed her MFA at The New School. Her poetry can be found in White Wall Review, Rust + Moth, and anthologized in Host Publications’ I Scream Social Anthology Vol. 2. She currently lives in Austin, TX. More information about her work may be found at sarahreneebeach.com.