I am a poet and scholar currently living in Bay View, on the South Side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bay View is an historic neighborhood; it's near the Lake, there are rows of Craftsman bungalows, and we even had our very own labor massacre in 1886.
I have no single professional focus--and could be accused of having no focus at all---but my current work includes a new book of poems, The Sleeve Waves (Wisconsin, 2014) and an anthology of nineteenth-century children's poetry, Over the River and Through the Wood (Johns Hopkins, December 2013), co-edited with Karen Kilcup. Scholarly essays in process include pieces on antebellum African-American children's literature, intergenerational women's poetry, and Sarah Piatt. My past work includes various articles, two poetry collections, Bird Skin Coat (Wisconsin, 2009) and Distance Learning (New Issues, 1998), and a critical study, Schoolroom Poets: Childhood, Performance, and the Place of American Poetry (UPNE 2005).
During the spring semester of 2011, I was a Fulbright lecturer in China, at Xiamen University; our family blogged (sporadically) about it here.
I'm married to anthropologist and online bookseller Chris Roth, whose Springtime of Nations blog tracks breakaway nations large, small, and microscopic.
Other Sorbys of note (since this is allthingssorby) include my brother, Sten Sorby (contact him if you are, or are about to be, bankrupt); a semi-upscale office building (no relation); and a deceased British geologist (also no relation) who specialized in something called "slaty cleavage."
Reach me at: AFSorby@gmail.com
The Sleeve Waves: Poems
Winner, Felix Pollak Prize, 2014
Inspired by thrift store knit sleeves, punk rock record sleeves, and, of course, print book sleeves, Angela Sorby explores how the concrete world hails us in waves of color and sound. She asks implicitly, “What makes the sleeve wave? Is it the body or some force larger than the self?”
“Sometimes, if you’re very patient and a little lucky, a set of truly original poems will jolt you
upright again, and you will read their unexpected, eccentric turns, their mesmerizing content and
cadence, with gratitude and amazement and feel so glad you’re still alive.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye, Pollak Prize Judge
Buy direct from University of Wisconsin Press, or from any online bookseller.
Buy direct from the University of Wisconsin Press:
SCHOOLROOM POETS: Childhood, Performance, and the Place of American Poetry, 1865-1917
A Children's Literature Association Honor Book
DISTANCE LEARNING: Poems
Or, buy direct from New Issues/Western Michigan Press:
The Sleeve Waves, my new poetry book, is out from the University of Wisconsin Press.
A Nelson Bentley toast & reading will occur @Hugo House in Seattle, Wednesday, 2/26, 4-6 p.m. Contact me for more info.
Karen Kilcup and I co-edited Over the River and Through the Wood, which will be released by JHUP in December 2013. 350 pages of nineteenth-century American children's poetry, plus added value as a door stop and/or bludgeon.
My chapter on ED's education just appeared, thanks to Eliza Richards, editor of Emily Dickinson in Context (2013: Cambridge UP).
Naomi Shihab Nye selected my manuscript, The Sleeve Waves, for the 2013 Felix Pollak Prize. The book will appear from University of Wisconsin Press in February, 2014. Here is the "creepy baby" cover image:
Yes, this is the same press that administers the Brittingham Prize but NO, there was no smoke-filled back room involved!
Four new poems are in Prairie Schooner, but only readable in the print edition.
The new Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is out, and notable for its enormity. I did the "Recitation" and "Fireside Poets" bits.
Interview at Poetry and Popular Culture is up!
I'll be reading with Ching-In Chen and Peggy Rozga at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of the Book, June 15 at 1 p.m., at UW-Waukesha.
A poem, "Stopping at the Joyce Kilmer Rest Area on a Snowy Evening" is out in the Winter 2012 North American Review
A poem, "Thrifting" is out in the Fall 2011 Massachusetts Review
A scholarly essay, "The Poetics of Bird-Defense in America, 1865-1918" can be found in Mike Chasar and Heidi Bean's 2011 edited collection, Poetry After Cultural Studies
"Snapshots of a Semester in China" in the Chronicle of Higher Education
Chronicle of Higher Education (essay)
Poetry Daily (poem)
Born Magazine (poem)
OLD STUFF from 2010-11:
Fort Atkinson, WI
[This was fun. Check out the Velvet Lips lounge.]
CROSSHATCH POETRY SERIES
[Also fun. Thanks for the ice cream, Tracy.]
[Ditto: fun. Actual conversations were had.]
on Downer, in MKE
With Valerie Laken and others.
Windhover Center for the Arts
Fond du Lac, WI