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The opening poem in Bar of Rest sets the scene: ‘Their dad and I do not touch/ anymore.’ The poem closes with the longing for a place where the speaker's heart "can hurt, and hope, and heal." But this first collection by Sara Epstein is not just about looking back at what was, the child she was, or the mother she became. Rather, the thrust of Bar of Rest is about the many aspects of divorcing, including coming out at fifty-five, coming into the woman this speaker feels she is meant to be. Many of the poems are written in forms but the one that serves her best is the pantoum, with its orderly repeated lines. Anxious to create a place where people can hurt and hope and heal, she dreams of creating a restaurant where that can happen. Read this work about her journey toward hope.


­­–Moira Linehan, author of Toward and  & Company

Sara Epstein is a singular voice in contemporary poetry. This collection is as thoughtful in its use of form as it is impressive in its command of narrative. Over the arc of this gorgeous book, Epstein tells a story through writerly technique––shifts in perspective, juxtaposition, performative language––and her skillful stylistic choices enrich and dazzle. This is a book that you won't soon forget.


–Kristina Marie Darling, author of Daylight Has Already Come: Selected Poems


Transparent, vulnerable and strong, Sara's poems open the reader to a courageous journey of imagery and metaphor that gracefully land in insight, understanding and healing.


–Lani Peterson, Psy.D, psychologist and story coach

Belmont Books Reading 4.3.24

PoemWorks Reading Series: Bar of Rest 

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