Sarah Maclay profile photo

Sarah Maclay

Clinical Associate Professor of English


Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts



Image for publication on The Image for publication on Music for the Black RoomImage for publication on The White BrideImage for publication on Whore: PoemsImage for publication on Poems Dead and Undead (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)Image for publication on The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present






Sarah Maclay is the author of four poetry collections, most recently The "She" Series: A Venice Correspondence (What Books, 2016), a braided collaboration with poet Holaday Mason; Music for the Black Room (UT Press, 2011); and The White Bride (UT Press, 2008), a book of prose poems. Her poetry, criticism and theatre pieces have appeared in well over 100 publications. Among them are The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, Hotel Amerika, The Writer’s Chronicle, Pool, ZZYZYVA, lyric, Ninth Letter, The Laurel Review, The Journal, Manoa, Scenarios: Scripts to Perform, The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present (Scribner), Slope 47, Poetry Daily, VerseDaily and Poetry International, where she also served as Book Review Editor for a decade, as well.

One of three writers to be awarded a 2015-2016 City of LA Master Artist Fellowship, she has also been honored with a 2015 Yaddo residency, and was a recent Dorset Prize semi-finalist and nominee for LA Poet Laureate. Her debut full-length, Whore (2004), won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry in 2003 and was also a finalist for the Blue Lynx Prize and a semi-finalist for the Kenyon Review Poetry Prize, the Cleveland State University Poetry Prize and the Tupelo Press First Book Prize. The recipient of a 2005 Albert and Elaine Borchard Fellowship, numerous Pushcart nominations, and a special mention in Pushcart Prize XXXI, she became the artistic director of The 3rd Area: Poetry at Pharmaka in 2008, and was a Grisham Visiting Writer in 2009. She was also a winner of the 2003 dA Center for the Arts Poetry Contest and first runner-up in the Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange Contest—2007.

The author, as well, of three limited edition chapbooks, Ice from the Belly (Farstarfire), Shadow of Light (Inevitable) and Weeding the Duchess (Black Stone), she earned degrees from Oberlin College and Vermont College and has taught at LMU since 2005, as well as conducting periodic workshops at Beyond Baroque, the Ruskin Art Club and for LMU Extension. At Loyola Marymount, she has taught three levels of poetry for grads and majors, creative writing for non-majors, modern American poetry, contemporary poetry, introduction to poetry courses, college writing, and independent studies. Recent upper division offerings include EcoPoetry, Anne Carson: Classic Iconoclast (with Katerina Zacharia, Classics), The Poetry of Night, The Art of Erasure, and a course in ekphrastic poetry--Writing from Art.


Oberlin College

Bachelor of Arts, English


Vermont College

MFA, Creative Writing, Poetry


Areas of Expertise

EnglishPoetryPoetry and CreativityPoetry and WritingPoetry Writing

Industry Expertise

  • Writing and Editing


2015-2016 C.O.L.A. Master Artist Fellowship | professional

One of three Los Angeles literary artists to be awarded a grant for the generation of new work, by the LA Department of Cultural Affairs

2015 Yaddo Residency | professional

Several weeks in June at one of the oldest artist's retreats in the country, to generate new work


  • Poets & Writers
  • Notable Alumni, Squaw Valley Community of Writers
  • Beyond Baroque


  • English
  • Rusty French


"Of Intimacy and Interiority"

Poetry International

Sarah Maclay

On poems by Inger Christensen, Jean Valentine, Eduardo Corral and Jorie Graham.

"The Abstract Concrete"

Poetry International

Sarah Maclay

On poems by Mary Jo Bang, Killarney Clary, Michael Burkard, Jody Gladding, Paul Celan; with analogies to the paintings of Cy Twombly.

"The Root of Saying"

The Writers' Chronicle

Sarah Maclay

On the poetry of Anne Carson, C.D. Wright, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Lynn Emanuel, Ralph Angel; the poetics of Paul Valery; the aesthetics of Robert Irwin through the lens of Lawrence Wechsler; Husserl; phenomenology.