Estelle Meaning Star by Sarah Rosenthal


A book of poetry, a book of collaged pages, a wondrous journey through hardship, hard thinking, with glimmers of light accompanying the reader. Sarah Rosenthal has created a masterwork!


Estelle Meaning Star, by Sarah Rosenthal
cover collage by Joyce Saler

ISBN 978-1-946104-51-9
$21.00  ($16 if ordered by February 15 2024)

In Estelle Meaning Star by Sarah Rosenthal, agony has wrenched language apart, decomposing it into lamentation. Dreams recorded during illness are the source for this beautiful and elemental text. Cut, sutured, disassembled, and rearranged, the words haunt the page, inhabiting the contradictory place of both dying and embodiment. As the human and inhuman draw closer together, the figure of Estelle recurs in the text as a sort of aperture between person and star, and the fact that we are made from dying stars takes on full poetic and mythic dimension. This is a searing, brilliant, compassionate dive into the conditions of our existence. ~ Camille Roy, author of Honey Mine

Sarah Rosenthal’s new collection Estelle Meaning Star offers a book-length meditation on mortality, illness, and living on the “rim” of familiar words and worlds. In a moment when the relentless production of public personas and linguistic cliches go hand in hand, Estelle Meaning Star extends a humble and welcoming hand to the silences in public speech while “A phrase or sentence/limps toward me/seems to be my/damage dog.” “I’ve thanked/the thin line/that showed skin a world,” the poet writes, extending that same hand to readers in gratitude for all the ways words can break open. ~ Chris Chen, author of Literature and Race in the Democracy of Goods: Reading Contemporary Black and Asian North American Poetry

Sarah Rosenthal is the author of Estelle Meaning Star, Lizard, Manhatten, and two books in collaboration with Valerie Witte: One Thing Follows Another: Experiments in Dance, Art, and Life Through the Lens of Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer and The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow. She edited A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Writers of the Bay Area. Her collaborative film We Agree on the Sun has received numerous accolades including Best Experimental Short, Berlin Independent Film Festival. A new collaborative film, Lizard Song, based on Sarah’s book Lizard, is in post-production. She has received the Leo Litwak Fiction Award, a Creative Capacity Innovation Grant, a San Francisco Education Fund Grant, and residencies at This Will Take Time, Hambidge, New York Mills, Vermont Studio Center, Soul Mountain, and Ragdale, as well as a two-year term as Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. She is a Life & Professional Coach and a project manager at Collaborative Classroom.