Life matters. Family matters.

Every word matters. The truth matters.

Let words build bridges between me and you.

This is love.

Poetry Collections

The question of who we are is as old as Story itself. In The Odyssey, the question for Odysseus’s son Telemachus leads to his search for his father. You can’t know who you are if you don’t know dad.

The question becomes pretty complex when the father you’re searching for is also searching for his own answers. Reading this epic year after year, I have read a new story each time.

My relationship with this text was a tremendous source of support for me after I lost my father on April 8, 2020 as this Bronze-Age epic shone a light on the way home.

This work charts my journey to my father and to a better understanding of his gifts to me and of myself.

From the time I was a child and my Mom puffed on her Marlboro reds, I knew I would lose her to lung cancer. I felt the grief, rehearsed it.

In 2017, when doctors confirmed this nightmare vision, all those years of rehearsing counted for nothing. My mom was sick and suffering and would suffer more intensely until the end. I had two years to do all I could to bring joy and love to her days. I would go down to her and Dad's home in Pennsylvania every Friday after work to spend as much time as I could with her and Dad.

This is my tribute to Mom and to the comforting idea that life will go on, that the work our mothers do has a life of its own and will survive.

This collection explores the way memory--sometimes clear, sometimes fragmented--informs the writer's understanding of herself, her family, and her sense of place. The collection celebrates my family's love for Laurence Isbell, a submariner who died in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

Laurence was my mother's maternal uncle who lived as a legend in my grandmother's home when I was a child. His picture sat on my grandmother's end table until long after she died.

Even as a child, I understood how losing him was unspeakably painful. The story came to me in fragments, and I have assembled them here.

The poems in Seventeen Park Lane explore the spiritual connection between person and place. The collection celebrates the gift of memory.

The title comes from the street address of my grandmother's home in Darien. My grandmother would fill her home with stories about, past, present, and future in a way that made me feel part of her world and the many things she loved about it. She created a home that was as much a psychological state as a physical one. The house is no longer in the family, but the sense of home stays with me almost 40 years after her passing. This book is my attempt to give voice to the ineffable spirit of home.

More of Sandy's Books

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A small collection of poems inspired Sandy's daughter during her earliest years. Carlson looks at the world with her child in these light and loving moments. There's plenty of white space so you and your child can illustrate these poems and make them your own.

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A collection of essays on the art of graffiti through the eyes of this reporter and researcher, who spent 14 years documenting the walls of Connecticut and beyond, and talking to and filming writers.

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A collection of poems that I have written and rewritten over the past several years. Life, death, friendship, faith in a loving and magnificent God.

Copyright Sandy Lee Carlson