Showcasing the Arts

Feb./March 2019 Featured Artist:
Sarah McCartt-Jackson


Sarah McCartt-Jackson
Kentucky poet, Sarah McCartt-Jackson

As a poet, naturalist, folklorist and educator, I aim to interpret scapes (landscape, homescape, culturescape, bodyscape) in my poetry, and I take this interpretation from other fields in which I am engaged: as a teaching artist, an environmental and farm-based educator, a folklorist collecting stories and songs that have survived only through generations of people, a naturalist compelling others to act on ecological and cultural change, and a poet practicing my craft daily.

My poetry, informed by my varied background, explores the diversity of biological and cultural life, cultural history as embodied in tangible and intangible resources, and profound experience rooted in sanctuary and wilderness. I have dedicated my art to the natural and cultural world that encompasses all who share in planet life. Through poetry and teaching, I endeavor to motivate others to connect, reflect, meditate and take action for the future of all our ecosystems, from fern to fiddler.

Through my poems, I link poetic craft and folklife to investigate the very heart of our earth and its people. I have devoted my career to advocate for conservation of natural, cultural and historical resources, especially in Kentucky, and my mission is to promote greater understanding and deep connections through poetry. My dedication to poetry is not simply to myself as a creator of poems — I aspire to inspire all people who wish to write to write.


Stonelight by Sarah McCartt-Jackson
Kentucky poet and folklorist Sarah McCartt-Jackson is the author of “ Stonelight” (Airlie Press), which won the 2017 Airlie Prize, and three chapbooks: “ Calf Canyon” (Brain Mill Press), “Vein of Stone” (Porkbelly Press), and “ Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River” (Casey Shay Press), which won the Mary Ballard Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Indiana Review, Copper Nickel, Bellingham Review, Journal of American Folklore, The Maine Review, STILL, NANO Fiction and others. She received an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, was selected as part of the Kentucky Great Writers series at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning and has served as artist-in-residence for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shotpouch Cabin through Oregon State University. She works on a farm in Louisville, where she also teaches poetry to students of all ages and makes up half of the art collaborative Project Diode. Sarah is available for poetry workshops in K-12 classrooms through the Kentucky Arts Council's Teaching Artists Directory program and for group readings through the Kentucky Humanities Speakers Bureau.


Sarah McCartt-Jackson
Louisville, Ky.


Page last updated: February 8, 2019
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