b. 1982


Born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Sara Peters studied at Boston University and was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. Her work has been published in The Walrus and Poetry, among many other literary magazines and journals, and her first book, 1996, was met with critical acclaim. She currently lives in Toronto.


Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?

Yes! I read poetry constantly. The poem I remember best is “The Lady of Shalott” by Tennyson, mainly because I’d subject my poor friends and family to impromptu, fever-pitch recitations of it.

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?

I started writing poetry when I was 5. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to think of myself as a poet — I’ve always felt squeamish about the word. I think of myself as “someone who writes poetry,” which is such an awkward phrase, I know.   

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?

I don’t believe that the expectations we put on poets should be any different from the expectations we put on human beings, in general. I think it’s a poet’s job to be kind, empathetic, and giving.

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?

[“You'd Have to Pay Me Could You Pay Me Enough”] was the second last poem I wrote for my book. I was thinking about a nameless group of people being held hostage. I was also imagining a powerfully manipulative female leader.  

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?

I would choose Hopkins’ “Spring,” but I would only memorize the (perfect) first line. I am terrible at memorizing things so I always need to start small!

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