Sarah Busse

recorded in Madison, WI


Sarah Busse

This is Sarah Busse and I live in Madison. I’ve been here for about four and a half years. I grew up in Iowa, and in between those two locations, I bounced back and forth between the Midwest and the West coast. And it was actually moving to the West coast that made me realize what a Midwesterner I am, in my personality and in my writing. I think a couple of the ways that comes out is that I have a real affinity for the intensity of weathers that the Midwest gets, and the sudden shifts in moods and the evocative power of the natural. One thing I want to say about Midwestern writers, and I think you could make a general statement, I think we are fascinated by the sky, and we draw a lot of our power and our energy from the sky, as opposed to from the Earth or from things that are growing. In fact, Susan Elbe, who’s another Madison poet, said recently that she has an argument with a tree that’s growing up past her balcony and it’s getting in the way of her view of the sky. And I know there are some people, for them the tree would be the view, but I think that for a lot of Midwestern writers, maybe the sky is the view. And that plays out in our poetry in ways that there aren’t easy words for. So that is a way that the Midwest has entered into my work. And as far as living in Madison, it’s really in Madison that I found a community of writers where I feel at home. It’s such a lively and diverse group, and there’s so much room for newcomers that as soon as I was able to get out and start exploring who was here, I felt like I found kindred spirits almost right away, and of course that influences your work in profound ways.


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