Sad Math by Sarah Freligh, Winner of the 2014 Moon City Poetry Award

In Sad Math, Sarah Freligh takes us for a ride through an American girlhood, a retrospective landscape of parking in cars and illicit kisses in a Donut Delite. Here, time is measured not only in days and years but in physical distance, a past that is understandable only when viewed through a rearview mirror. Along the way, there are not only losses, but also the accumulation of experience and the insistence of possibility.

“Sarah Freligh’s Sad Math is nothing less than a marvelous arc that captures and explores what it means for all sentient beings to age and find the unreasonable sum of years. Her feminist view heightens the notion of sacred disfigurement as we realize that language can never properly add or assess our grief. These stark poems are exposures that fade and yellow until her profane Kodacolor print becomes a kind of Giotto canvas, though a contemporary one where the man on TV ‘points to a red stain spreading across / a map and tells me it’s best to stay/ inside’.”

—Mark Irwin, author of American Urn: Selected Poems