The poems in A Common Name for Everything build idiosyncratic worlds around the themes of nature, home, parenting, and naming—worlds that are at once poignant and absurd: a professional namer of lakes explains his standards; the rural gods are given names; a study of sheep results in loneliness. Steeped in sound play and borrowing academic language to create a specimen lens, these poems bask in the local as they seek to name even the commonest earthly things.
Sarah Wolfson’s poems have appeared in Canadian and American journals including The Fiddlehead, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, PRISM international, and TriQuarterly—and they have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. Originally from Vermont, she now lives in Montreal, where she teaches at McGill University.