NEA

KATHLEEN OSSIP ON SARABANDE + NEA

"Though our differences are many, poetry makes connections that remind us that we are essentially one. . . . This is the necessary task that the NEA makes possible." 

For more than twenty years Sarabande has received generous funding from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of our publishing and educational programming. Each year, a handful of our titles receive special, earmarked funding from the NEA. Kathleen Ossip's poetry collections The Cold War and The Do-Over, were both made possible through NEA grants. Here's Kathleen Ossip on publishing with Sarabande: 

"In 2015, Sarabande Books, one of the most innovative and acclaimed small independent presses in the United States, published The Do-Over, my third book of poems, with special earmarked funding from the National Endowment of the Arts. The Do-Over went on to receive an unusual amount of attention for a book of poetry: it was selected as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Book Review and was widely reviewed. I heard from readers all over the world who felt the poems spoke to them, from high school students to elders. In some way, this wasn’t surprising, because the book had a universal theme: It was a book about death, and many of the poems were about the death of someone I loved.

"I recently stumbled across a video on YouTube, made by a young woman who read 'I’m afraid of death,' then went on to talk about how much the poem meant to her. Her brother had committed suicide, a painful loss that had made her look for ways to understand her feelings of fear and grief. In the video, she explains that the poem makes her feel less alone, and goes on to show how the poem accomplished this act of healing, line by line.

"This sensation of being understood, especially in our most complex and incomprehensible experiences, is what poetry offers us, what only poetry can offer us. Though our differences are many, poetry makes connections that remind us that we are essentially one, that we join together in a fundamental and common humanity. This is the necessary task that the NEA makes possible."

Learn more about Sarabande's partnership with the NEA and how you can help #SavetheNEA on our website.