My name is Dr. Sarah Jefferis, and I am an author, editor, writing coach, and CEO of Write.Now.
I specialize in helping you commit to the writer within.
I hold an MA in Creative Writing and Literature from Hollins University, an MFA in Poetry from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from SUNY Binghamton.
My most recent poetry collection, What Enters the Mouth, was published in February 2017 by Standing Stone Books. Ansel Elkins, the author of Blue Yodel, said that “these are fearless poems—a reckoning of the violence of girlhood rendered with grit and clarity.”
Forgetting the Salt, my first book of poetry was published by Foothills Press in 2008. I won the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Prize for my poem “Motherhood.” Additionally, my poems and nonfiction work have appeared in Rhino, The Mississippi Review, The American Literary Review, Stone Canoe, Icon, The Hollins Critic, The Patterson Review, The Healing Muse, The Cimmaron Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, and other journals. My essay “Blood and Chocolate” appears in the anthology Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2014.
I have been both a poetry and fiction fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers in California and held residencies in poetry and creative nonfiction at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts in New York, and at The Studios at Mass MOCA.
I am working on my first novel Running After Jesus, as well as my third collection of poetry, After Marriage. I am also working on a collection of essays about interracial relationships and eradicating white privilege.
I recently served as the Interim Program Director and Academic Advisor for the McNair Program at Cornell’s Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, which supports first-gen, low-income, underrepresented students of color.
As someone who is first-gen and grew up economically impoverished, and outside of the dream of Higher Education, I understand the immense economic obstacles placed before students who are attempting to acquire a Bachelors's and or Graduate degrees. I know how difficulties can stop individuals, but also how they can serve as motivators.
I could not have gotten here alone. Theatre and Writing professors at Hollins University mentored me along the educational path, and their guidance motivated me to continue to be both an educator and a learner. And to unlearn. I am grateful for that opportunity.
As a white bisexual woman, I believe it is my responsibility to challenge and intentionally debunk structures of inequity and white supremacy in order to work towards manifesting racial equity and economic justice in every situation. I feel called to examine my own blind spots and to do the necessary internal and external work of being anti-racist. And I have made mistakes. And I will get it wrong. But still, I will speak up.
I am passionately committed to helping first-gen, low-income writers from under-represented communities across the disciplines through the written word. I hope to inspire writers to have an intentional relationship to the words in which they speak, to believe in the possibility and the practice of joy, and to understand we are all stronger together.
Currently, I write, edit and make a home for two brilliant feminist girls in Ithaca, New York.
Please feel free to contact me for help.
- Colgate Writers Conference, Colgate University, Poetry (2015), Fiction (2014)
- SOS Grant for Fiction, Community Arts Partnership, Ithaca, NY, Winter 2014
- Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, The Patterson Review, 2010
- Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, Stone Canoe, 2014
- Link Fellowship, SUNY Binghamton, Fall 2009
- Francis Newman Fellowship, SUNY Binghamton, Fall 2008
- Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Service, Hollins University, 1995
- Cornelson Halsey Leadership Award, Hollins University, 1994, 1993
- John M. and Emily B. Clark, Distinguished Teaching Award, Cornell University,
- Spring 2001
- Hart Crane Memorial Award, Kent State University, 2001