Sarah Galvin is the author of a book of poems, The Three Einsteins (Poor Claudia) and a book of essays, The Best Party of Our Lives (Sasquatch). Her poetry and essays can be also found in Weekly Gramma, The Guardian, io, New Ohio Review, Vice Magazine, and Pinwheel, among others. She is a regular contributor to The Stranger newspaper. She is a winner of the 2015 Lottery Grant, a 2015 James W. Ray award nominee, and was considered for what would have been the first Radio Flyer Wagon DUI in Washington State history.
At a time in America when the beautiful people are proudly wearing their hideous insides on the outside, it’s important to explore the truly absurd. That’s what Sarah Galvin does with scathing humor and warm integrity in Ugly Time. Her brightly observant and usually hilarious poems treat an extreme, two-dimensional world to equal parts celebration and castigation. Political figures behave like the cartoons they are. The disenfranchised hang onto their human ugliness instead of trading it in for beautiful, bloodless neoliberal vampirism. No matter how darkened the skyline by ugly, corporate tombs, we see the weird, beautiful trash fires of the people burning in Galvin’s lines.
Sarah Galvin is my favorite poet, and Ugly Time is the most essential book of poems for These Troubled Times; through these poems is a way into the mad lantern of Galvin's imagination. Each of these poems is as bright as a thousand hilarious suns, as heartbreaking as a snow day cancelling your heart's funeral. Really: this is a holy-grail book, rigorous and and consistently challenging, chilling, and charming. And alarming.
The droll humor of Sarah Galvin’s Ugly Time reflects a worldview entirely her own: funny, horny, reveling. “I heard a story on NPR about a guy who could /orgasm from peeing in the sink.” Free of the cynicism that dominates much of contemporary discourse, Galvin’s world is the world we live in but can’t see, and reading it is healing the way drinking weed lemonade (yes, that's a thing) on a sunny day with a great friend you haven’t caught up with in a really long time is healing.
Ugly Time spins you into a rollicking psyche pummeled on all sides by sex and death and pop culture, certainty and anxiety. Hilarious and disturbing, compulsive and compelling, this book rules.
Listen, everyone loves Sarah Galvin, and for obvious reasons. But despite being an increasingly visible writer/performer, and a frequent Stranger contributor, Galvin is the kind of writer whose technical skills tend to go unappreciated—even unnoticed—because her presentation is so pleasing.